TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)- “Vote Yes” and “Vote No” signs are lining neighborhood streets in Kansas, as people get ready to vote on the “Value Them Both” amendment in August.
In some parts of the state capitol, the primary ballot issue is also causing a divide among neighbors.
“I feel like it’s pretty split …” John Shroer said from Topeka. “You have people that feel one way or another on the issue. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen.”
In some Topeka neighborhoods, “Vote Yes” signs are posted on front lawns and bumpers. But, just a few blocks down, you can see signs that say “Vote No,” urging lawmakers to keep their “hands off our rights.”
For some, there’s confusion over what the “yes” and “no” means.
Political analyst Bob Beatty said a “Vote Yes” is not an automatic ban on abortion, but it would leave the future of abortion rights in state lawmakers’ hands.
“The entire issue would go to the Legislature,” Beatty said. “It would be out of the hands of the state supreme court, and whatever the Legislature wanted to do, they could do.”
Currently, the state constitution recognizes the right to an abortion.
Beatty said if the “Value Them Both” amendment passes, then lawmakers could decide to do nothing, which would leave the state constitution intact. However, he said it’s likely that they could pass legislation virtually banning abortion in the state.
A “no” vote will mean that the state constitution will stay the same and continue to recognize the right to an abortion. It could also open the door for people from other states with abortion bans to come to Kansas.
The vote on the Value Them Both amendment will take place on August 2 in the Primary Election.
Voters can vote on the amendment regardless of their party affiliation. But first, they have until the end of Tuesday, July 12, to register to vote in the Primary Election.
Beatty said the primary election is usually a time when voter turnout is low, but this year, we could see more people at the polls.
“High turnout in a primary is around 40-some-odd percent,” he said. “So, the potential here is possibly the highest turnout in Kansas history. This is the most vibrant primary season that I’ve ever seen.”
A spokeswoman for the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office told the Kansas Capitol Bureau that as of Thursday, the total number of voter registrations since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is 14,678.
“There is always an increase in registration right before an election. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a lag between when registrations arrived at the office and when they were entered on ELVIS (Election Voter Information System).”Whitney Tempel, Kansas Secretary of State’s Office
Current Kansas laws regarding abortion
KSN News contacted the Kansas Legislative Hotline at 800-432-3924. A representative told us there are a number of laws currently in force in Kansas related to abortion. They directed us to the Kansas Office of Revisor of Statutes, in particular, Article 67 on KSRevisor.org:
- Article 67.—ABORTION
- 65-6701 Definitions.
- 65-6702 Drugs or devices for birth control or fertilization lawful; political subdivisions prohibited from limiting abortion.
- 65-6703 Abortion when unborn child viable; restrictions and prohibitions; civil damages and criminal penalties for violations.
- 65-6704 Abortion upon minor; required information and counseling.
- 65-6705 Same; written consent of certain persons required before performance of abortion; waiver of requirement; court proceedings; penalties; judicial record and report; civil action.
- 65-6706 Repealed.
- 65-6707 Same; severability clause.
- 65-6708 Woman’s-right-to-know act; citation.
- 65-6709 Same; abortion, informed consent required; information required to be given to women, certification of receipt; offer to view ultrasound image and hear heartbeat, certification of offer; required signage.
- 65-6710 Same; materials to be published and distributed by the department of health and environment; materials to be available at no cost.
- 65-6711 Same; information where medical emergency compels performances of an abortion.
- 65-6712 Same; failure to provide informed consent and printed materials under act is unprofessional conduct.
- 65-6713 Repealed.
- 65-6714 Same; severability clause.
- 65-6715 Same; act does not create or recognize a right to abortion or make lawful an abortion that is currently unlawful.
- 65-6716 through 65-6720 Reserved.
- 65-6721 Partial birth abortion; restrictions and prohibitions; civil damages and criminal penalties for violations.
- 65-6722 Abortion of pain-capable unborn child; legislative findings.
- 65-6723 Same; definitions.
- 65-6724 Same; certain abortions prohibited, exceptions; determination of gestational age; civil action; criminal penalties.
- 65-6725 Same; construction of act.
- 65-6726 Abortion based on gender; prohibited.
- 65-6727 through 65-6730 Reserved.
- 65-6731 Prohibition on certain funding for abortions; definitions.
- 65-6732 Legislative declaration that life begins at fertilization.
- 65-6733 Prohibition on certain funding for abortion.
- 65-6734 Same; school districts.
- 65-6735 Same; construction of act.
- 65-6736 Same; no requirement to provide or right to an abortion.
- 65-6737 Same; discrimination prohibited.
- 65-6738 Same; applicability of act.
- 65-6739 Same; severability.
- 65-6740 Reserved.
- 65-6741 Kansas unborn child protection from dismemberment abortion act; citation of act.
- 65-6742 Definitions.
- 65-6743 Dismemberment abortion prohibited; exceptions.
- 65-6744 Cause of action for injunctive relief.
- 65-6745 Civil action for violation of act.
- 65-6746 Criminal penalties for violation of act.
- 65-6747 Legal proceedings; public disclosure of name of woman, orders against such disclosure.
- 65-6748 Construction of act.
- 65-6749 Severability.
- 65-6750 Effect of injunction or other judicial order on provisions of article 67.
- Article 67a.—FETAL ORGANS AND TISSUE
- 65-67a01 Fetal organs or tissue; definitions.
- 65-67a02 Same; construction of act.
- 65-67a03 Same; when act not applicable.
- 65-67a04 Same; prohibitions; penalty.
- 65-67a05 Same; transfers of tissue; reports.
- 65-67a06 Same; prohibitions; penalty.
- 65-67a07 Same; consent of donor.
- 65-67a08 Same; severability.
- 65-67a09 Child rape protection act; submission of fetal tissue from certain abortions; physicians’ duties; rules and regulations; noncompliance, penalties.
- 65-67a10 Disposition of fetal remains.