Kansas Voters Receive Misleading Texts Prior to Vote on Abortion Amendment

A textual content message from an undisclosed sender was despatched to many Kansas voters this week, claiming {that a} “sure” vote on a state constitutional modification would shield abortion rights — even if such a vote would really do the other.

In an initiative vote at the moment, voters in Kansas can have the prospect to resolve how the state structure must be interpreted transferring ahead. In 2019, the Kansas Supreme Court docket dominated that the structure acknowledges the precise to abortion — however residents now have the chance to forged their ballots in assist of a constitutional modification saying that the state legislature can regulate abortions.

A “sure” vote on the so-called “Worth Them Each” modification would point out {that a} voter believes there must be no constitutional proper to abortion in Kansas, whereas a “no” vote helps conserving the state structure intact, thus leaving the state Supreme Court docket’s choice in place, according to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office.

Nonetheless, the textual content message that was lately despatched to an enormous variety of voters within the state wrongly claimed the other.

“Girls in KS are dropping their alternative on reproductive rights. Voting YES on the Modification will give ladies a alternative,” the text incorrectly stated. “Vote YES to guard ladies’s well being.”

The message got here from a 1-888 quantity, and didn’t embrace data on who paid for it to be despatched. Beneath Kansas state regulation, advocacy groups do not need to disclose their identity when campaigning for constitutional initiatives or different referendum questions. The state additionally doesn’t have laws restricting false or misleading campaign advertising.

Ashley All, a spokesperson for Kansans for Constitutional Freedoms, a gaggle that’s attempting to mobilize Kansans to vote to guard abortion rights, decried the texts as being “one more instance of the determined and deceitful ways of the Worth Them Each marketing campaign.”

“The reality is that voting sure opens the door to a complete ban on abortion,” All mentioned. “A NO vote maintains present rules on abortion. A NO vote protects our constitutional proper to protected, authorized abortion in Kansas. A NO vote retains the structure unchanged. A NO vote prevents authorities management over personal medical choices.”

Utilizing deceptive or blatantly false language to dissuade folks from getting abortions — or to trick folks into voting towards abortion rights — is a typical anti-abortionist tactic.

Organizations that describe themselves as “disaster being pregnant facilities,” as an example, declare to be a useful resource for pregnant people who find themselves contemplating their choices. Surely, these locations exist to disseminate anti-abortion propaganda, and a few staff at these facilities wrongly inform those that enter them that abortions can lead to infertility and breast cancer — lies that don’t have any foundation in reality by any means.

The Worth Them Each marketing campaign has equally sought to mislead voters, largely by downplaying the modification’s extremism.

The 2019 Supreme Court docket ruling “eliminated the authorized basis for all current legal guidelines that let primary rules on abortion,” the group says on its web site. “Worth Them Each merely permits for these current legal guidelines to be protected.”

In actuality, the modification, if handed, would likely lead to a virtual ban on abortion in the state — one thing that the group’s leaders have readily admitted. One Worth Them Each official has instructed teams aligned with their motion that they’ll push for passage of a restrictive invoice, HB 2746, that may ban abortion at any stage of being pregnant; the invoice would make exceptions for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies however not for rape, incest or different well being issues that threaten the lifetime of the pregnant individual.

Reproductive rights advocates have criticized the timing of at the moment’s vote, calling it a blatant try by anti-abortionists to dilute votes in favor of preserving abortion rights. As a result of the initiative vote is being held throughout the major election at the moment — quite than throughout the common election in November — voters usually tend to be Republicans, as there’s a contested gubernatorial major election for the GOP however not for Democrats.

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