WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – With the nation watching, Kansans rejected the “Value Them Both” amendment Tuesday by roughly 17 points.
The big question now: what’s next for each side of the abortion rights debate?
For Wichita’s sole clinic for procedural abortions, Tuesday’s “no” vote provides a heightened sense of security.
“We’re enthralled and enthusiastic with the results,” Zack Gingrich-Gaylord, communications director for Trust Women, said.
Gingrich-Gaylord said that before the vote, he was concerned Trust Women would not be able to provide abortion services within the year. Now, he says the clinic’s next steps are to reinstate abortion rights in surrounding states.
“One of the messages that we heard loud and clear from the results of last night’s election is that Kansans do want local, meaningfully accessible abortion care for their communities,” Gingrich-Gaylord said.
Political analyst Dr. Jeff Jarman says that compared to the 2018 Primary Election, 63,000 more Republicans and 100,000 more Democrats participated. This, as nearly 200,000 independents who normally wouldn’t be able to vote came out en masse due to the amendment.
“Going forward, if they [anti-abortion activists] are unwilling to change what they want as an outcome, they face a very tough road ahead of them,” Dr. Jarman said.
Dr. Jarman says any legal challenges to existing abortions are unlikely in the near future.
“Anybody who was incentivized to want to strike down an existing law because of the court ruling ’19 would have filed a suit in ’19, or in ’20, or in ’21,” Dr. Jarman said.
A statement from the “Value Them Both” coalition reads in part: “While the outcome is not what we hoped, our movement and campaign have proven our resolve and commitment…This outcome is a temporary setback, and our dedicated fight to value women and babies is far from over…We will be back.”
KSN News reached out to the coalition to hear directly from the group what its next steps could be. The coalition declined to comment.