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Biden praises Kansas vote to protect abortion rights

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President Biden praised a Kansas vote on Tuesday that rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have abolished protections against abortion and given the state legislature more power to regulate access to the procedure.

The ballot measure marked the first time voters had weighed in on abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and it was considered a benchmark for how Americans would respond to the Supreme Court’s decision.

“The Supreme Court’s extreme decision to reverse Roe v. Wade put women’s health and lives at risk. Tonight the American people had something to say about it,” Biden said in a statement.

Kansas voters showed up in record numbers to extreme efforts to amend the state constitution to remove women’s right to vote and open the door to a statewide ban. This vote makes clear what we know: The majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and the right to make their own health care decisions,” he added.

The proposed amendment would have said the state constitution does not protect abortion rights, effectively reversing a 2019 Supreme Court decision.

Biden also used his statement to call on Congress to codify abortion protections after the Supreme Court repealed the constitutional right to abortion in June.

Kansas’ rejection of the abortion vote was praised by Democrats and abortion rights advocates, while conservatives complained about the vote. It was also surprised by many given the red tendencies of the state.

“For my money, the most important result tonight is: #Kansas vote against further restrictions on abortion. It’s Red Kansas, for God’s sake. Even if it was a good result without losing, it would have suggested a backlash to Dobbs and the subsequent rush to outlaw abortion,” Larry Sabato, founder and director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, tweeted.

However, others argued that the ballot measure reflected more nuanced views on abortion in the state.

“With the Kansas abortion amendment vote, just a reminder that there is a significant number of voters who: – consider themselves pro-life or would support a 15-week abortion ban AND – also think Roe should be upheld,” conservative pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson tweeted.