(Ezekiel Loseke, Headline USA) Kansas will be the first state to have a disputed vote on abortion after the Supreme Court‘s historic ruling, enabling national tensions over a controversial issue to spill into the state, which has a long history of being a proxy for national political conflicts.
Ruby-red Kansas, unlike many other conservative states, did not have a trigger law that automatically banned abortion after Dobbs. In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that there was a Constitutional right to an abortion, according to The Federalist.
Thus, in Kansas today, abortion is legal until the Constitution is amended. The up-and-coming midterm election in Kansas will include a vote regarding amending the Constitution, per MSNBC.
Pro-abortion activists are putting a Big-Government spin on the subject, advertising that a governmental ban is simply bureaucrats and politicians running amuck, in an advertisement MSNBC host Chris Hayes called “very clever.”
“Our real challenge is to make sure people know—make sure people register and vote in August,” said Kathleen Sebelius, a former Kansas Democrat governor and Obama’s former director of Health and Human Services. “If we can do that, I think the ‘no’ votes will prevail.”
The Constitution of Kansas, then, will have to decide when natural rights begin by determining if an unborn human can be killed for the convenience or safety of the mother.
Kansas’s Constitution has a long history with such questions. It was one of the first states to answer the same question regarding slavery.
The slavery controversy, much like the abortion controversy, centers on the question of which people have rights.
Lincoln and the Republicans held that black people had the capacity for citizenship. At the same time, the Supreme Court argued in Dred Scott the black people could not be citizens. As can be seen in the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates, the status of Kansas’ Constitution regarding slavery was a proxy for the national controversy over slavery.
Historically, being the center of such a controversy is not good for the state of Kansas. Following the Kansas Nebraska Act (which enabled the states to vote on the question of slavery), Kansas experienced a long series of domestic battles dubbed “bleeding Kansas.”