You’ve surely seen the countless headlines by now. And if you are one of the millions of individuals who consumes their news via headlines or short video clips, you surely know that the voters of the conservative state of Kansas just voted by an overwhelming majority to support abortion from any restrictions. But is that really what happened?
“Kansans vote to uphold abortion rights in their state” – NBC News
“Kansas abortion vote: Major victory for pro-choice groups – BBC News
“Resounding abortion rights vote in Kansas may reshuffle midterm environment – ABC News
Here is what actually happened: On Tuesday, August 2nd, Kansas voters went to the polls for the primary elections. In addition to voting for the preferred candidates in each major party, voters had the opportunity to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a proposed constitutional amendment, which would update the state constitution. Currently, the Kansas constitution says that the state legislature is not permitted to pass any law regulating abortion. Pro-life legislators and citizens sought to amend the constitution to give the power to the legislature, so that the people’s representatives could regulate abortion in the future if they so desired. Amending a constitution is an incredibly high bar, and nearly every attempt to do so in the states and on the federal level fails. In Kansas, a constitutional amendment must pass the House and the Senate with two-thirds majorities in each chamber. Then, it must be placed on the ballot. In this session, HCR5003 passed 86-38 (69%) in the House and 28-11 (72%) in the Senate, officially sending it to the voters for ratification.
On Tuesday, this is what voters saw on the ballot:
This question is not very easy to understand, especially if the voter only reads the question and not the explanatory statement. It contains double negatives, which presents a very difficult challenge for voters. Of course, pro-abortion progressives campaigned on the issue as if it were about saying no to a radical new total ban on all abortions with no exceptions for rape or the health of the mother. This was completely false, because the constitutional amendment simply would have stricken the part that prohibits the legislature from passing laws relating to abortion. Voting yes on the amendment would have granted the legislature the power to legislate as the people saw fit.
At the end of the day, 59% of voters elected not to amend the constitution, officially defeating HCR5003. Failing to amend a constitution should not be construed to mean that there is or is not support for a policy. It is a tremendous hurdle that is not and should not be taken lightly.
That being said, the 340 million individuals living in the united states are very much divided on the issue of abortion. On a binary basis, the split is roughly 50-50. And on this extremely important issue, very few people with strongly held beliefs are willing to compromise, because they feel that abortion is murder or that restricting abortion is tyranny. The two sides rarely argue in good faith; they believe their opponents to be evil or sociopathic. According to Civiqs.com,
From 2016-2021, over 200,000 respondents to the question ‘Do you think abortion should legal or illegal?’ resulted in the following:
As of this writing, 57% believe that abortion should be permitted in all or most cases, while 38% believe that it should be prohibited in most or all cases. Does that sound like a union in which everyone is satisfied and united in their beliefs?
On nearly every other major issue, the union is split evenly into two or three camps, none of which will ever budge. The data is clear: the union should be dissolved, and each state should have its own unique laws that best satisfy their people. Those in Kansas can have unrestricted abortion and those in Missouri can ban abortion. Kansans who want to live in a country that does not legalize abortion can easily move to Missouri. This is by far the most practical way to make everyone happy, and it may be the only way to avoid civil war.