On Tuesday, August 2nd, Kansas holds its primary election. This marks the first time Americans will vote on an abortion ballot measure since the Supreme Court overturned the 49-year-old precedent established by Roe v. Wade.
Kansas’ HCR 5003, or the “Value Them Both” amendment, aims to amend the state constitution so that it “does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion” (link).
Similarly worded amendments have already appeared on the ballot in four other states—Alabama in 2018, Louisiana in 2020, Tennessee in 2014, and West Virginia in 2018. Despite mixed outcomes statewide, pro-choice support tends to outperform the Democratic vote in Republican areas by a significant margin.
If HCR 5003 passes, the measure would overturn the Kansas Supreme Court’s 2019 decision that the right to an abortion is protected by the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights. This change would free the Republican-controlled legislature to enact any restrictions on abortion that they want, including banning it entirely. Another such amendment will be on the ballot in Kentucky this November.