Election 2022

Out Congresswoman explains why Kansas’ abortion ballot measure failed in 11 words

Rep. Sharice Davids
Rep. Sharice DavidsPhoto: Provided

Out Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS) explained the reasoning that one of her constituents took to the ballot box yesterday as the state rejected a ballot measure to ban abortion in the state, a sentiment that captured many people’s feelings in just 11 words.

Davids said that a woman named Katrina told her her two-year-old daughter “shouldn’t have to grow up with less rights than her mother.”

The referendum to end the state constitutional right to an abortion was shot down with 59% of voters in Kansas opposing it as of 9:40 a.m. local time, according to the Kansas City Star.

Kansas’s supreme court has ruled that the state constitution guarantees the right to an abortion in the state, setting up an additional protection there. Anti-abortion activists created the ballot question to roll back that protection so that abortion could be banned in the state.

They put the ballot initiative on a midterm primary ballot – an election that generally has low turnout – hoping that older and more conservative voters would carry it though.

“The voters in Kansas have spoken loud and clear: We will not tolerate extreme bans on abortion,” said Kansans for Constitutional Freedom campaign manager Rachel Sweet as the election was called.

Even in many rural areas, the “no” voters – “no” was in favor of abortion rights – outnumbered the “yes” voters.

Last night, Davids told the crowd at a “vote no” watch party that the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade motivated people to vote for reproductive freedom.

“I think the Dobbs decision definitely felt like a gut punch to a lot of folks in our community and I know it did for me for sure,” she said. “But once we caught our breath, we stood up straight, we got to work.”

Davids, who is the first out LGBTQ Native American person to serve in Congress, has made health care and equality for oppressed people central issues in Congress, helping to pass “dozens of bills to bring down the costs of healthcare and prescription drugs.”

And she has centered her message around hope for the future in her campaigns, she told LGBTQ Nation in 2020: “The fact that we have so many people who see a future for themselves and for their children and grandchildren in this country, and the number of people who are engaged in trying to shape that future, that is literally the manifestation of hope.”

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