The conservative US state of Kansas has decided in a referendum to protect abortion rights – in a major victory for pro-choice groups.
Voters overwhelmingly said they did not wish to amend the state constitution to assert there is no right to abortion.
It was the first electoral test of the issue since the US Supreme Court allowed states to ban the procedure.
If the ballot had gone the other way, lawmakers could have moved to further restrict or ban abortion in the state.
The ballot question in Kansas had been hotly anticipated since the US Supreme Court two months ago overturned Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalised abortion nationwide.
Projections suggest Kansans voted by more than 60% to uphold the state’s constitutional right for women to access abortion.
When Roe v Wade was overturned, President Biden said abortion rights would be an issue for the voters. What’s happened in Kansas has turned that theory into evidence.
Donald Trump won Kansas by 15 points just two years ago, but has now voted to protect abortion access by what is being seen as a landslide.
It’s just a projection for now, and the official result will be confirmed in a week.
But for Democrats and pro-choice groups, this is a sign that Americans are deeply unhappy with abortion rights being overturned – and see the Supreme Court’s decision as out of step with the public.
The US holds national mid-term elections on 8 November, with Democrats fighting to retain control of Congress…