The future of abortion rights in one state is about to be decided after the US Supreme Court overturned a decades-long precedent that protected access to abortion across the country.
Friday’s court ruling overturned Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization. The ruling now allows states to impose tough restrictions on abortion, with 22 states already poised to pass anti-abortion laws.
Kansas will become the first state in the nation to vote for abortion rights in the world since Row when residents go to the polls on Aug. 2, according to KMBC-TV in Kansas City. While the Kansas State Constitution protects the right to have an abortion, an amendment introduced by conservative lawmakers will put an end to it.
The Kansas Prohibition of Abortion and Legislature to Regulate Abortion Amendment, if passed, would change the state constitution to state that abortion is not a protected right, resulting in an outright ban. The Cannes for Constitutional Freedom group is working to abolish this electoral measure.
And in Michigan, activists are working to introduce an amendment to the ballot in November that would protect abortion rights in the state. In May, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Democrat) signed a petition to put to a vote a proposal that would guarantee legal access to abortion in a state that denied abortion rights until Roe v. Wade in 1973.
Reproductive Freedom for All joined Whitmer in Michigan’s fight for abortion rights.
“The decision of whether to conceive or become a parent is too important to be left up to politicians,” the band’s website says. “This proposal will affirm that every Michigan has a basic right to reproductive freedom, which includes the right to make and implement decisions without political interference in all matters relating to pregnancy, including birth control, abortion, prenatal care, and childbirth.”
Whitmer also filed a lawsuit in April to overturn the state’s 1931 abortion ban.
“Today’s decision takes effect from an outdated 1931 Michigan law that prohibits abortion without exception for rape or incest and criminalizes doctors and nurses who provide reproductive care,” Whitmer said in a statement Friday following the Supreme Court’s decision. “At this point, a Michigan state court has temporarily suspended the law, but this decision is not final and has already been challenged. The 1931 law punished women and deprived them of the right to make decisions about their own bodies. I am deeply disappointed that Republican legislative leaders in Michigan have defended this draconian ban in court to the detriment of women and families. Some legislators have gone even further, proposing a 10-year prison sentence for those who have abortions and a 20-year prison sentence for anyone who manufactures, sells, or distributes contraceptives.”
At a May abortion rights rally on the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus, 63-year-old Beth Morris told The Guardian she is a moderate Republican campaigner for abortion rights.
“The Republican Party in Michigan has just been taken over by the far right,” Morris told the publication. “Somehow, Christian values are what they want.”