Primary decision out: Abortion continues to be constitutionally protected in Kansas

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Mia Hennen / The Sunflower

Many “vote no” signs could be seen around the Wichita community leading up to the Aug. 2 vote.

The results are out. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June, the constitutional right to an abortion in Kansas will stand. 

An overwhelming amount of Kansans rejected the amendment.

Kansans for Constitutional Freedom and Value Them Both Association have been huge forces in the abortion debate that have both poured millions of dollars into their campaigns over the last year to garner support for their side. 

According to the Kansas City Star, Kansans for Constitutional Freedom raised $6,542,900 this year, while spending $5,836,388 from Jan. 1 to July 18. The Value Them Both Association raised $4,691,596 this year while spending $5,406,417 during the same period.

After pouring more money into the fight, Kansas for Constitutional Freedom secured its goal: preventing the constitutional amendment to Kansas.

What does that mean for Kansas? 

Since the amendment was struck down by a majority of Kansas voters, Kansans will continue to be able to receive abortions up to 22 weeks into pregnancy – and in rare cases, after 22 weeks if the pregnant person’s life is in jeopardy. 

Some believe that republican officials in Kansas will attempt to pass more restrictions on abortion, following this decision.

Wichita State student reactions

Before the decision was made Aug. 2, many WSU students in various organizations fought for their side.

Erin Jacobson serves as president for Shockers for Life, a pro-life group on campus. Jacobson said she was saddened by Kansans’ decision to keep abortion accessible in Kansas.

“The pro-life community has not changed their mission and will stand strong in this time of division,” Jacobson said. “We will still give support to those women and children in need and speak up for the voiceless by loving and educating those around us more.”

Other groups, such as Intersectional Feminists On (and Off) Campus Uniting Students, rejoiced at the outcome of the primary.

“As a girl who is trying to have a baby with her husband, this result means the world to me,” Sonya Nimmo, VP of FOCUS, said. “I have no way of knowing if my future pregnancy will have any complications, but at least I know that it will be my choice to make if it does. … I could not be happier and prouder of our state.”

FOCUS president Delaney Jones said she and other members of the organization raised support for the cause by doing door-to-door canvassing, tabling at events, phone banking and other methods. 

“We will continue to fight for reproductive justice in our community, state, and nation and do whatever is needed to protect reproductive access and ensure reproductive equity,” Jones said. “FOCUS will always be there to support those who need it and to advocate for justice. For now, though, we can finally take a deep breath before moving on to the academic semester.”