WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Kansas will be the first state in the nation to vote on abortion rights following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The ‘Value Them Both’ amendment is on the August primary ballot.
This decision comes just a couple of years after the State Supreme Court ruled the Kansas constitution guarantees women’s rights to abortions. The ‘Value Them Both’ amendment would change that.
A ‘yes’ vote would create a new section in the constitution saying it does not create or secure a right to abortion. Opponents believe this would be the first step in banning all abortions in Kansas.
A ‘no’ vote would keep the constitution the way it is.
Groups both in support and against the amendment agree this vote is that much more important after the Supreme Court ruling.
“This is a reasonable approach. It protects women and babies,” said Mackenzie Haddix, spokesperson for the Value Them Both coalition.
“We have protection right now in Kansas, and we have a way to keep it vote on August 2,” said Faith Martin, Women’s March Air-Capital co-chair.
Martin believes it’s important that Kansans stand up and vote no.
“We decide our fate, and we don’t need the government to make decisions for us. These are private medical decisions that people with a uterus make in the privacy of their doctor’s office,” Martin said.
While those with the Value Them Both coalition feel otherwise.
“To ensure that unelected judges can’t decide with zero input from the people that Kansas abortion laws will be as liberal as California and New York,” Haddix said.
Carole Neal is one of those in favor of voting no on the Value Them Both amendment. She remembers what it was like for women before Roe V. Wade.
“It was either self-abortion or going to a … somebody that gave abortions with no health care. I know women that died. Women that never had, you know, weren’t able to have children again,” Neal said.
“We want common-sense laws in place that will protect women and babies. Kansans believe in common-sense restrictions on the abortion industry. We want basic sanitation laws. We don’t want Kansas to become a destination for abortions,” Haddix said.
No matter your stance, Neal just wants you to remember to vote “Republican, Democrat, and unaffiliated. You vote on this amendment.”
Anyone is able to vote on the amendment regardless of party affiliation, even though this is happening during the primary election.
The deadline to register to vote is July 12.