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Landmark 1973 abortion law Roe v Wade was overturned by the US Supreme Court in June, with its reversal expected to have stripped 36 million US women of their right to choose.
It is now up to each state to determine whether abortion is legal, with anti-abortion laws already in motion and expected to be triggered in 26 states across the country.
Restrictive abortion laws are already in effect in Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, North Dakota, Idaho, Tennessee and Texas.
The state of Kansas however defied expectations this week, as the public voted to protect abortion rights in a landmark referendum.
The vote was over an amendment that would have allowed state lawmakers to impose further restrictions to abortions following Roe v Wade’s reversal, but the state of Kansas voted to protect its abortion access.
This means that Kansas will remain one of the very few Republican states where abortion will be protected and accessible.
Kansas is the first state in the United States to hold a vote on abortion rights since the overturning of Roe v Wade, and its verdict has been celebrated by activists and politicians.
“The vote signals to Kansas and the rest of the country that Americans value reproductive freedom and will fight to protect it,” announced NARAL Pro-Choice America’s President, Mini Timmaraju.
“Reproductive freedom is a winning issue, now and in November. Anti-choice lawmakers take note: The voters have spoken, and they will turn out at the ballot box to oppose efforts to restrict reproductive freedom.”
US President Joe Biden also celebrated the vote’s outcome, announcing: “The majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion”.
His statement continued: “Congress should listen to the will of the American people and restore the protections of Roe as federal law.”
We will continue to update this story.