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Kansas votes on abortion in August, will be a big test for what a post "SCOTUS overturned Roe" world looks like

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A new poll shows that Democrats may be more energized than Republicans.


Some details:


The Kansas Supreme Court said in 2019 that the right to bodily autonomy was in the state constitution.  Which means....



So even if Kansas’s Democratic governor, Laura Kelly, loses in November, the state’s Republican-controlled legislature wouldn’t be able to pass much anti-abortion legislation at all. And Kansas would continue to be an island of abortion access as surrounding states ban abortion. 


But this amendment would strip that right.



If the amendment passes, on the other hand, the Kansas constitution would no longer protect abortion and more restrictions are likely, particularly if Republicans take back the governor’s mansion in the midterm elections.


It's on the primary ballot, which means turnout would be lower, but polling shows many are more motivated to vote in light of abortion rights no longer being guaranteed.



Most respondents (84 percent) in the co/efficient survey say the amendment has made them more likely to vote, and the poll finds that Democrats are more energized than Republicans by the issue: 94 percent of Democrats say the amendment has “increased the importance of voting in this upcoming election,” compared with 78 percent of Republicans.



“The decision was a wakeup call for a lot of moderate Kansans who weren’t engaged on this issue because they thought there was federal protection for abortion care,” said Ashley All, a spokesperson for Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, the main organization opposing the amendment. According to All, the group went from having about 44 volunteers sign up per week to more than 500 volunteers per week after the Dobbs decision, and they’ve made more than 140,000 phone calls to Kansans since then as well.


Where polling stands.



According to the first publicly released poll of the campaign, conducted by co/efficient and shared exclusively with FiveThirtyEight, 47 percent of likely primary voters say they plan to vote for the amendment, while 43 percent say they plan to vote against it. This poll of 1,557 likely Kansas primary voters was conducted by mobile text response and automated landline interviews from July 17 to 18 and has a margin of error of ±2.78 percentage points.


The article goes into the strategy pro-choice activists are taking:


  1. No matter what people think of a policy, Americans do have a bias toward the status quo, and activists are arguing this will "change the constitution."
  2. Supporters of abortion rights also are making it a point that this could lead to a full ban of abortions, no exceptions, which is only supported by 5% of likely primary voters.


Kansas is an interesting state since it's reliably Republican nationally, pretty conservative, but it does have some pro-worker/progressive history from the early 20th century (read 'What's the Matter with Kansas?' for great info on that) and it's way more likely than surrounding states to vote a Democrat for governor. Plus, support for a right to have an abortion is popular nationwide and not an extremely unpopular view in Kansas.

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