/  08.02.2022

Today (Aug. 2), Kansas will make history as the first state in the U.S. to allow voters to decide on abortions. The news comes after the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. The June 24 decision took away federal protection for abortion rights, leaving states to decide the fate of women’s reproductive health.

Kansas currently allows abortions for those who are up to 22 weeks pregnant. Today’s vote will allow citizens to choose between removing and amending the right. The prompt reads, “Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, laws that account for circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother.”

According to CNN, voting “Yes” would mean the state constitution “does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion.” The outlet adds that the “Yes” vote would not completely rule out abortions in the state. Laws would still have to be passed by the GOP-controlled state legislature. Those who select “No” would be voting in favor of keeping the current law in place.

Ahead of today’s vote, Kansas City native and award-winning entertainer Janelle Monae shared a few words on social media. “Kansas, I love you. PLEASE VOTE ‘NO’ TOMORROW AUGUST 2nd! Protect the rights of your body and fight to keep abortion safe and legal in Kansas!!!!” the “Yoga” singer tweeted yesterday (Aug. 1). In the post, she shared a video speaking passionately about the “historic” and “infuriating” situation.

Kansas isn’t the only state asking residents to weigh in. The Associated Press reports that in November, Vermont will decide if it will add abortion rights to its constitution. Michigan is expected to follow a similar plan of action on their ballot that month as well.

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