In a major win for abortion rights in the United States, Kansas voted against banning abortion in the state on the night of Tuesday, 2 August.
Kansas, a conservative and primarily Republican state, is the first US state which put up abortion rights to vote in the country, after the US Supreme Court on 24 June, overturned Roe v Wade, a landmark case that constitutionally protected abortion rights for almost 50 years.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden, lauding the victory of abortion rights in the state, said on Twitter:
"It's an important victory for Kansas, but also for every American who believes that women should be able to make their own health decisions without government interference."
People in Kansas turned out to vote in heavy numbers on Tuesday, 2 August, in a referendum brought by the Kansas Republican legislature. The campaign was tense and bitter, while witnessing vandalisation of churches and yard signs stolen.
The 'No Campaign,' designed to protect abortion rights, raced ahead in the referendum with 62 percent of the votes, signalling a million-dollar loss for the Catholic church which contributed over 3 million dollars trying to eradicate abortion rights in the country.
Kansans for Life, who backed the “yes” vote, had said on 27 July that banning abortions would prevent late-term abortions, lack of parental consent and tax payer funding, despite these being absent from the state Constitution.
(With inputs from The Guardian and The Associated Press.)