The Naked Truth/Jamala Rogers

Jamala RogersColor

Hell Has No Fury

The first state coming into the ring to defend abortion rights scored a knockout. Kansas voters delivered a decisive punch at the polls and soundly rejected a state constitutional amendment to strip abortion rights. This should make Republicans stand up and pay attention because Kansas is one of its own conservative states. Could this rebuke be the start of political momentum by woke voters? I wrote in a previous column that we are not going away quietly.

Despite the majority of Americans supporting the concept of a woman’s right to choose (some polls say as high as 70 percent), the conservative U. S. Supreme Court blatantly abused its power in June to overturn Roe v. Wade. The constitutional amendment had been on the books for half a century.

Kansan supporters of abortion rights waged a grassroots but sophisticated campaign across the state that started over a year ago — long before the High Court’s decision. There were a few hurdles to deal with like confusing ballot language and an election month when voter turnout is historically low. Let’s not forget that it was in the Sunflower State where anti-abortion activists murdered abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. Tensions over a woman’s right to choose has only escalated since the 2009 hate crime.

Organizers tapped into the usual base of women and male allies who unconditionally support choice. They also rallied voters who resented the over-reach of government in striking down issues important to a significant swath of the U.S. population. There was a record turnout of voters, and this was no squeaker. The amendment to protect the Kansas law on the books won by nearly twenty points.

Anti-abortion rights opponents didn’t just lose bragging rights in this showdown; they lost millions of dollars. The Catholic dynasty was the biggest loser having invested nearly two thirds of the $5.4 million spent to defeat the ballot initiative.

Voters in five states will soon face ballot initiatives dealing with protecting or destroying abortion rights. Elections in Vermont, Michigan, California, Montana, and Kentucky could determine if the counter-defensive gathers momentum or just sputters. In the thirteen states where trigger laws were to go into effect with the Supreme Court ruling, it’s not going as smooth as conservatives thought. In states like Louisiana and West Virginia, legal challenges have stalled enforcement of the trigger law.

The familiar quote says that hell has no fury like a woman scorned. I say to the extremists that there’s no power like the power of the people and the power of the people don’t stop. It may bring more fire than fury.

DisplayMGE 08-22