Kansas puts abortion on the ballot

LEAWOOD, United States (AFP) — Campaign signs dot the tree-lined streets of the affluent Kansas town of Leawood, as the Midwestern state prepares to hold the first major vote on abortion since the United States (US) Supreme Court ended the national right to the procedure.

Kansans head to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to change the traditionally conservative state’s constitution to remove language guaranteeing the right to an abortion.

Those in favor of the change — “Yes” voters — say it would allow legislators to regulate the procedure without judicial interference.

Pro-abortion activists see the campaign as a barely-masked bid to clear the way for an outright ban by the Republican-dominated state legislature — following in the footsteps of at least eight other US states since the Supreme Court’s ruling in June.

“It really does come down to the amendment taking away that right to personal autonomy that all Kansans enjoy,” Ashley All, a spokesperson for the “No” campaign Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, told AFP.

“And it is a right that we are able to make decisions about our bodies, about our families, about our future, without government interference,” she said.

Currently, abortion is legal in Kansas up to 22 weeks, with parental consent required for minors.

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