Anti-Abortion Zealots Crash and Burn in First Big Showdown After Roe

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Voters in Kansas on Tuesday rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed the GOP-dominated legislature to ban abortion, a stunning victory for reproductive-rights advocates in a region where the procedure was already nearly impossible to access.

Backers of the amendment—a campaign largely largely funded by the Catholic Church in the state—took pains to argue it was not in and of itself a ban on abortion. Some experts and advocates disagreed, and both local officials and outside observers said turnout appeared to be far higher than expected in a typical primary-day contest, a reflection of the high stakes.

“You could read it and think you were voting to eliminate state funding of abortion when there is no state funding to abortion,” Neal Allen, a political scientist at Wichita State University, told Vox of the amendment. “And there is language that refers to exceptions to preserve the health of the mother, and for rape and incest, but there’s nothing about the amendment itself that would create those exceptions.”

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