Despite Kansas Vote, Americans are Still Pro-Life on Abortion

Opinion   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 3, 2022   |   11:58AM   |   Washington, DC

As LifeNews reported, Kansas voters rejected a pro-life amendment on Tuesday night that confirms there is no right to kill babies in abortions in the state constitution.

Abortion activists are gleefully celebrating the defeat on social media and falsely claiming it means Americans support killing babies in abortions. But the truth is Americans are still fully pro-life and the loss is a temporarily blip that has more to do with a short-term backlash against the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe than where Americans actually stand on abortion in general.

So why did the Value Them Both Amendment lose?

State ballot amendments are always a tough sell, mainly because leftist billionaires fund the opposition. In state after state over the last couple decades, rich out of state liberals fund ballot campaigns. Kansas was no different — as 99% of the funding for the pro-life campaign came from in-state and 75% of the funding for the pro-abortion campaign came from out of state. The pro-life side was outspent by $1.5-$2 million dollars and the pro-abortion campaign flooded the airwaves with false and misleading ads claiming women would die, lose health care or even that contraception would be taken away.

The “Value Them Both” amendment was also awkward. It was always going to be difficult to get Kansas voters to vote Yes on an amendment saying there is “No right to abortion.” Voting No made sense and we’ve already heard from pro-life advocates that some people who are pro-life voted No because they think there is no right to abortions.

Studies have always shown that the natural tendency of voters is to vote No on amendments unless a state amendment is constructed in a way that a Yes vote is very intuitive and easy to support. “Value Them Both” is great language acknowledging that the pro-life ethic values both mother and child, but it might have been more effective to run the campaign under a slogan of “Yes on 2” or something to that effect. The pro-abortion side could easily rally around No and No signs flooded the state whereas Value Them Both required explanation to many voters who didn’t understand what the amendment did or why it was needed.

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The lies and misinformation in the mainstream media and on social media also produced a biased outcome. In the aftermath of the Dobbs decision, abortion advocates are spreading lies that banning abortions will kill women, will deny women health care, will prevent treatment for miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, will ban contraception and birth control, etc. None of those claims are true.

The bigger takeaway in general is that the Kansas vote is one vote and doesn’t mean Americans want abortions on demand.

First, in November 2018 voters in West Virginia approved a similar amendment making it clear there is no right to abortion. Also in 2018, Alabama voters approved an amendment by a lopsided margin confirming unborn babies have a Right to Life. So other votes on the issue of abortion straight up have produced pro-life outcomes.

Secondly, polling data confirms a majority of Americans oppose most abortions and want them made illegal when used for birth control or convenience. They support aboritons in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother — which means a majority of Americans oppose 98% of abortions. In fact, 14 recent polls from 2019-2022 confirm that Americans are generally pro-life.

In comments to LifeNews, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life confirmed many of these points.

“The abortion proponents think they won a victory. But when the “victory” is more abortion, nobody wins. Babies will be killed, mothers and families will be harmed, and the democratic process by which the people set policy through their elected representatives has been hijacked,” he said.

“The abortion-loving side, aided by a very friendly media and funded by abortion extremists with deep pockets, lied about the very nature of the amendment and about what would happen to women if abortion were to be restricted in Kansas in the future. They used scare tactics and outright lies to vote down an amendment calling for Kansas to Value Them Both,” he added.

Pavone added: “Here’s my challenge to the abortion supporters: Let’s have an honest ballot initiative on abortion, where both sides actually tell the people what they are voting on. We are up to that challenge any day; we will win every time. Abortion supporters lie because they know the American people do not want abortion without limits or the duty to pay for someone else’s abortion. They never have wanted that and never will.”