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How the Kansas abortion vote could impact Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

A victory was declared in Kansas Tuesday night, for reproductive rights and pro-choice voters after voters declared abortion will remain in the Kansas Constitution.

Abortion access is now protected in the state from a Republican-controlled legislature that wants to ban the procedure.

That vote in Kansas establishes a second neighboring state to Missouri with access to abortion.

The vote was a pretty big move for Kansas a red state, and that has people asking what it means for Missouri.

"This victory this week emboldens us because it shows what we already knew that even in a hostile red state people support access to abortions," Mallory Schwarz Executive Director of Pro-Choice Missouri said.

Missourians will now have another neighboring state to go access the procedure, but that doesn't come without difficulties.

"Time-sensitive pregnancy care is harder to get it takes longer to get and it's harder to coordinate to travel to places like Kansas," Schwarz said.

Emily Wales, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains in Kansas, said they are elated with the victory, but having enough providers to give the procedure has been difficult.

"We don't have enough providers and we didn't before the Dobbs decision came down throughout the midwest and the south. Patients were often looking across state lines," Wales said.

Abortion access is banned in Missouri, except in cases of life endangerment or when the patient's health is at severe risk.

Lawmakers in Missouri have worked on bills in the past to make it illegal for women to cross state lines to get abortions but none have made it to the Governor's desk.

The Missouri Right to Life Political Action Committee said pro-lifers will be back in 2023 requesting pro-life legislators to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

The Value Them Both Campaign responded to the vote in Kansas stating, "While the outcome is not what we hoped, our movement and campaign have proven our resolve and commitment. We will not abandon women and babies."

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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