Reason Roundup: Kansans Reject Anti-Abortion Ballot Measure—and It’s Not Even Close

Elizabeth Nolan Brown reporting for

Voters overwhelmingly voted against a measure that would have allowed abortion to be banned in Kansas in the first post-Roe test of abortion’s legality put directly to the people.

Yeah, that’s the kind of crazy thing about the Dobbs decision — the people of our fair nation are overwhelmingly in favor of having access to abortion.

Oh, and this:

The vote isn’t the result of low turnout—Kansans voted on the abortion measure in numbers normally not seen in non-general elections.

And also this:

Nor is it a result of August elections typically favoring more liberal voters. “When the Legislature’s GOP supermajority placed the amendment on the ballot last year they picked the election most likely to favor the amendment,” notes The Kansas City Star. “August primaries have disproportionately high Republican turnout because Democratic primaries in Kansas are often uncontested.”

Plus this:

And it doesn’t turn on results from more liberal urban areas or university towns alone. Suburban Johnson county overwhelmingly voted against it

Rural counties such as Franklin and Osage also voted against the amendment “by significant margins,” reports the Star. And even many rural counties that voted for it did so by smaller margins than they did for Donald Trump in 2020.

But, let’s be aware of this:

Whether Kansas is a good bellwether for the rest of the country on this issue is debatable. But Kansas is a relatively conservative and Republican state, and residents voting against an anti-abortion initiative at least suggests that conservative enthusiasm for banning abortion might not be as strong as many believe.

Of course, Kansans voting down this ballot measure doesn’t meant they wouldn’t support a 15-week limit on legal abortion or other more moderate restrictions. But a total ban—which the measure would have allowed for—doesn’t seem to have majority support.

I think most rational people, whether Freedom-loving or Freedom-limiting in nature, would agree that a 15-week limit is reasonable. But total bans, “heartbeat” bills, requiring doctors to have hospital admitting priviliges, and other irrational restrictions are just not what the vast majority of people want.

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