In a stunning warning sign for Republicans, the overwhelmingly conservative state has voted down an amendment to its state constitution which would have allowed its Legislature to further restrict or ban abortion.
The referendum is the first in the country since Roe was overturned by the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs.
Dave Wasserman was the first to call the vote for the pro-abortion side.
I’ve seen enough: in a huge victory for the pro-choice side, the Kansas constitutional amendment to remove protections of abortion rights fails.— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) August 3, 2022
The measure would have added language to the state constitution saying it does not grant the right to abortion, allowing lawmakers to regulate it however they wished.
Kansas voters are solidly conservative and the state has consistently seen twice as many Republicans turn out to vote in primaries than Democrats over the past decade. Turnout on Tuesday evening was closer to that of a typical midterm election than a primary, nearing 50% turnout.
The vote was closely monitored by the political sphere as a measure of voter feelings toward the nationwide right to abortion being overturned, and the no vote surely sends a deep shock through conservative circles.
Since the ruling, Republican-led states have confidently moved ahead with limiting and banning abortion in most cases. Many of former President Trump’s endorsed candidates have strong anti-abortion positions, taking hardline stances to ban abortion without exceptions for rape and incest.
It remains to be seen if or how other Republican candidates will respond to this outcome as general midterm elections draw nearer.
This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.