Kansas vote: Abortion foes mum on plans

Republicans have worked for decades to make it difficult to get an abortion in Kansas, but with a constitutional amendment on the ballot, they're reluctant to tell voters they plan to ban the procedure. Both sides are accusing the other of spreading misinformation.



July 21, 2022 - 2:25 PM

A crowd of 150-plus people gather outside the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka in opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and to protest against the proposed Kansas abortion amendment. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Republicans have spent more than three decades making it as hard as possible to get an abortion in Kansas, and now that their chance to ban the procedure is in sight, they’re reluctant to tell voters whether that’s their goal.

In the first statewide abortion referendum since the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe vs. Wade, Kansas voters will decide Aug. 2 on a proposed change to the state constitution that would clear the way for its Republican-controlled Legislature to more strictly regulate or ban abortion. Several other states are poised to vote on the issue later this year, and new fights loom where courts and governors are less conservative than legislatures.

But even as conservative lawmakers in nearby states such as Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas take pride in their near-total bans, abortion opponents in Kansas avoid giving direct answers about what new restrictions they’d support, and some deny they’d seek a total ban.