Friday, August 05, 2022

Pregnant With Meaning


Prophetic?  These tweets were published more than three weeks before the stunning victory in Kansas of pro-choice voters over forced-birth advocates:

That would be 17.5% more Kansan voters pulling the level for the right to choose than they did for Biden. That would be extraordinary enough, but is even more so given the wording of the ballot question:

 

Consitutional Amendment
Vote Yes or No

Explanatory statement. The Value Them Both Amendment would affirm there is no Kansas constitutional right to abortion or to require the government funding of abortion, and would reserve to the people of Kansas, through their elected state legislators, the right to pass laws to regulate abortion, including, but not limited to, in circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or when necessary to save the life of the mother.

A vote for the Value Them Both Amendment would affirm there is no Kansas constitutional right to abortion or to require the government funding of abortion, and would reserve to the people of Kansas, through their elected state legislators, the right to pass laws to regulate abortion.

A vote against the Value Them Both Amendment would make no changes to the constitution of the state of Kansas, and could restrict the people, through their elected state legislators, from regulating abortion by leaving in place the recently recognized right to abortion.

Shall the following be adopted?

 

§ 22. Regulation of abortion. Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, laws that account for circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother

Yes
No



A safe axiom of polling is that the wording of a question can determine the result. Here, voters were invited to support the proposition that "the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, laws that account for circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother."

It's hard to resist the notion that "the people through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws...." Power to the people!  Voting yes, it would seem from the distorted and dishonest wording, would promote consideration of the "circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or circumstances of necessity to save the life of the mother," And they'd be supporting women bearing a  "pregnancy resulting from rape or incest" and would be saving the life of the mother. 

Yet somehow, Kansan voters were sufficiently informed and sophisticated to see through this vile attempt at forcing a "yes" vote, one which would have removed the state's guaranteed protection of abortion rights. Or they were so determined to protect reproductive freedom that they resisted this effort to restrict the rights of women.

Either way, the voters of Kansas should be applauded. Also, this: since Roe v. Wade was decided, pro-life Republicans generally have had more electoral success than pro-choice Democrats when abortion was a minor issue because liberal voters have had the luxury of ignoring it.  Make it a prime issue, however, and the electoral results are likely to be far different. The advantage in most states and nationally would shift to the pro-choice advocate, which Democrats should be keenly aware of as November approaches.



 



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