Kansas ratifies the right to abortion in the first referendum in the US after the decision of the Supreme Court

Kansas ratifies the right to abortion in the first referendum in the US after the decision of the Supreme Court

Kansas voters voted this Tuesday in a referendum overwhelmingly in favor of keeping intact the right to abortion as currently regulated in the state Constitution, in a defeat for conservatives who sought to restrict it.

According to the projections of the main American media, with 90% of the vote counted, more than 60% of voters rejected changing the state Constitution to restrict the right to abortion.

“Kansas voters went to the polls in record numbers to reject extremist efforts to amend the Constitution to take away women’s right to choose,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement.

[El Supremo de EEUU deroga la sentencia ‘Roe vs Wade’ que legalizaba el aborto en el país]

“This vote makes clear what we already know: that most Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and they should have the right to make their own health decisions,” added the president.

The one from Kansas was the first referendum that an American state celebrates after the Supreme Court ruling that annulled the “Roe v. Wade” ruling, which eliminated the federal right to abortion and gave the states the power to legislate on the subject.

The consultation, which was held to coincide with the primary elections in the state on Tuesday, could have opened the door for the state government to legislate to restrict the right to abortion, which, however, now will remain legal until 22 weeks. It was a particularly relevant referendum because it could have set a precedent for other states.

Despite having a Democratic governor, Laura Kelly, the central state of Kansas has a strong Republican tradition and this party controls the offices of the attorney general, the secretary of state and both chambers of the state legislature. In addition, in the presidential elections the Republicans also dominate and Donald Trump was the favorite presidential candidate in the last two electionswith 56% of the votes.

[Estados que han prohibido el aborto en EEUU una semana después de que se derogase Roe vs. Wade]

This Tuesday’s referendum had been harshly criticized by civil organizations, who denounced that the text of the question was not clear enough, in an attempt to “misinform and confuse on the part of those who oppose abortion”according to the Planned Parenthood organization.

If the “yes” vote had been imposed on the constitutional reform, it would have been the state legislature is responsible for passing laws about the procedure, that they could have opted for a greater restriction of times or exceptions or for a total ban, as is happening in other states.

The Kansas Oasis

Since the Supreme Court on June 24 – with a conservative majority of six judges against three progressives – ended the federal protection of the right to abortion (in force since 1973 thanks to the “Roe v. Wade” ruling), many women from states such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri have vtired to Kansas to be able to have an abortion, given the restrictions imposed in these states.

A few hours earlier this Tuesday, the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, announced a lawsuit against the state of Idaho for considering that its law against abortion “criminalizes doctors” and prevents them from freely practicing interruptions of pregnancy when the woman’s health is at risk.

The Justice Department sued Idaho for violating the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act to try to protect doctors who have to intervene when an abortion is “medical treatment necessary to stabilize a patient’s emergency medical condition.” “.

This is the first action by the Department of Justice against a state since the Supreme Court ruling, and it will not be the only one, Garland himself explained at a press conference.

The prosecutor pointed out that the working group on reproductive rights created as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision is dedicating itself to evaluating “the changing landscape of state law” and “additional litigation” against other states is already under consideration.

All this to “do everything possible to guarantee continued legal access to reproductive servicesIn these “terrifying and uncertain times for pregnant women and their providers,” said US Deputy Attorney General Vanita Gupta.

Today’s complaint seeks to put a stop to this Idaho law that takes effect on August 25 and imposes on doctors the burden of proving in court that they are not criminally responsible, after being arrested and charged.

Source: Elespanol

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