Victory in Kansas shows Democrats can fight and win for abortion rights Moira Donegan

IIt wasn’t even close; it was a blast. With an unexpectedly high turnout and a huge margin, Kansas voters on Tuesday rejected a measure that would have eliminated abortion rights from their state’s constitution. Nearly 60% of voters in the deeply conservative state opposed the anti-abortion measure. Only about 40% supported this.

The so-called Value Them Both Act would have dramatically devalued women in Kansas. The bill was intended to amend the state’s constitution in response to a 2019 state Supreme Court ruling that found abortion is protected in the state charter, which guarantees all citizens “equal and inalienable rights.” Unlike the US Supreme Court, the Kansas Court rejected the idea that civil rights were frozen in time at the time the document was ratified; Instead, they extended this equality to women. “We are now asked: Is this Statement of Rights anything more than an idealized claim?” the court wrote. “And if so, do substantive rights include a woman’s right to make decisions about her body, including the decision to continue her pregnancy? We answer “Yes” to these questions.” Overwhelming, by a margin of about 20 pointsVoters in Kansan agreed with them.

It was the first ballot test for support for abortion rights since the US Supreme Court was overthrown Deer vs Wade in June, and the results were unequivocal. Even in conservative Kansas, abortion rights are popular with most Americans. Even in conservative Kansas, abortion bans are offensive to them.

On paper, that shouldn’t have been a surprise. Americans have a wide range of opinions on abortion, but by and large, the idea that women and others should have a legal right to terminate their pregnancy is very popular, with between 60% and 70% support. Accordingly, ballot initiatives urge voters to restrict abortion tend to fail, according to New York Magazine correspondent Irin Carmon. A measure that would have granted personal rights to fetuses and embryos failed in 2011 in very conservative Mississippi. A municipal electoral measure aimed at that Ban on abortions after 20 weeks in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, failed in 2013 with an unusually high voter turnout by a large margin. As South Dakota An abortion ban was passed in 2006, supporters of the election managed to gather enough signatures to put the measure to a referendum. The voters rejected that, too.

The US Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade is particularly unpopular with the public and has ignited a renewed passion for the pro-choice cause. According to a CNN poll, 63% of Americans — nearly two-thirds — say they disagree with the court’s verdict. Just over half of them, 51%, say they “strongly” disagree. This public outrage is clearly reflected in electoral votes. After the court overturned Roe on June 24, many states saw a spike in new registrations. In Kansas, 70% of these new voters were women.

There were some signs that the anti-abortion side was nervous, even before their crushing defeat on Election Day. They played dirty. The vote was scheduled for a scorching hot August primary day, when turnout is typically low and Republicans do better. A Republican-leaning company in Nevada in the days leading up to the election sent texts to voters in Kansas. “Women in Kansas are losing their choices regarding reproductive rights,” the lyrics read. “If you vote YES to the change, women have a choice. Vote YES to protect women’s health.” A yes to the constitutional amendment would have been a vote against abortion rights. The anti-choice Republicans clearly didn’t think they could win on merit. Turns out they couldn’t.

But you would never know how overwhelmingly popular abortion rights are from the behavior of the democratswho have reacted allergically to full-bodied defenses of reproductive rights and other so-called “culture war” issues over the past three decades, and particularly since the election of Donald Trump.

The party’s centrist leadership has figured that only economic issues – defined in practice as issues affecting white men – can excite voters. The Biden administration was flat footed and inept in her response to Dobbs, who agreed to take only the flimsiest and risk-averse steps to restore access to abortion, alienating large sections of their base as they try to concentrate on their efforts to curb inflation to concentrate. Biden almost never says “abortion.” You get the feeling he’d rather not talk about it at all.

But the results in Kansas suggest he should be. The abortion ballot initiative drew a huge turnout. cancellation Right-wingers received significantly more support in the election than Joe Biden in most Kansas counties. It’s a so-called “culture war” that drove voters in droves to vote for a Democrat agenda item. The Kansas vote shows Roe’s ouster has created a moral emergency that voters will respond to. Ignoring these so-called “culture war” issues does not make the Democrats seem reasonable and moderate. It makes them look like cowards running away from a fight.

What Republicans want to do to America, especially with regard to abortion rights, is unpopular. More importantly, it is anti-democratic and immoral. It’s a fight voters want to take up. It’s time for the Democratic Party to join them.

Victory in Kansas shows Democrats can fight and win for abortion rights Moira Donegan

Source link Victory in Kansas shows Democrats can fight and win for abortion rights Moira Donegan

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