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Monday, December 4, 2023

First US abortion referendum: Kansasans reject policy tightening

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Voters in the US state of Kansas rejected a proposal for a constitutional amendment that would allow the majority-Republican legislature to limit or completely abolish the right to abortion. This is the first referendum on abortion in the United States since the Supreme Court revoked the constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy in June.

“A victory by human rights defenders in such a conservative state shows that the majority of Americans agree that women should have a right to abortion,” said US President Joe Biden. “Congress must listen to the will of the American people and restore the protection of Roe v. Wade, which sets a precedent for federal law,” Biden said.

The Kansas referendum was held in parallel with the party primaries, in which the Democratic and Republican parties chose their candidates for the congressional elections to be held in November.

With less than 13 percent of the votes still to be counted, it is already certain that the people of Kansas are speaking out against the constitutional amendment. Almost 60 percent of voters voted against, according to preliminary results from The New York Times. All votes will be counted by the end of the week.

The proposed amendment would state that the constitution does not guarantee the right to abortion and will allow for new restrictions on the procedure or a complete ban, according to supporters. Opponents of the amendment fear that if passed, Kansas could follow neighboring Missouri and Oklahoma, where Republican lawmakers outlawed abortion after the Supreme Court ruling, with no exceptions for rape victims in Missouri’s case.

Unlike other GOP strongholds, Kansas did not impose strict abortion restrictions soon after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its constitutional right to abortion. The ability to terminate a pregnancy has been protected by the Kansas state constitution since 2019, when the local Supreme Court ruled.

Currently, voluntary abortions are allowed up to 22 weeks of pregnancy in the state, and Kansas has become a destination for pregnant women who want to artificially terminate their pregnancies but are unable to do so in their home state, such as Texas or neighboring Oklahoma. stricter laws.

The result in Kansas will at best reassure the Democratic Party, which expects a close fight, and a landslide victory for many of its voters who want to limit abortion rights, the BBC reported.

In the United States, the constitutional right to abortion is granted in Roe v. It was warranted by the 1973 Supreme Court precedent known as Wade. On June 24, five conservative members of the nine-judge court returned the abortion regulation to the hands of the American states.

Source: Seznam Zpravy

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