Kansas voters protect abortion rights in first major post-Roe test

Kansas voters were projected to have rejected a ballot measure Tuesday that would give the state legislature the authority to ban abortion, in what was seen as the first major referendum on the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The Associated Press called the results around 10:40 p.m. ET.

The ballot measure is a proposed state constitutional amendment that says the right to an abortion is not protected by the state constitution, effectively reversing a state Supreme Court decision from 2019 .

But because the measure failed, that means that the state Supreme Court ruling still stands. Most abortions up until 22 weeks of pregnancy are allowed currently in the state.

The vote over the measure came more than a month after the nation’s top court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion.

A number of states quickly took actions to immediately pass bans to the medical procedure or curb restriction, and the ballot measure in Kansas was widely seen as a bellwether of how voters would react to the high court ruling.

But the date of the ballot measure vote is notable given that Democratic voter turnout has previously been lower during midterm cycles compared to presidential elections, meaning the Aug. 2 election was expected to drive even lower turnout and would be less indicative of how all voters in the state feel on the issue.

Still, it’s no secret that Kansas is a red state, with more than 851,000 registered Republican and more than 495,000 registered Democrats, according to monthly data from the Kansas Secretary of State’s office as of July.