Kansas first state to vote on abortion since Roe's demise

Jessica Porter, communications chair for the Shawnee County, Kansas, Democratic Party, discusses a sign in Spanish urging voters to oppose a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution to allow legislators to further restrict or ban abortion, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Topeka, Kansas. The proposed amendment is a response to a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court decision protecting abortion rights. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas on Tuesday was holding the nation's first test of voter feelings about the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, with people throughout the state deciding whether to allow their conservative Legislature to further restrict or ban abortion.

The referendum on the proposed anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution is being closely watched as a barometer of liberal and moderate voters' anger over the June ruling overturning the nationwide right to abortion. But the outcome might not reflect broader sentiments about the issue in the country as a whole, given how conservative Kansas is and how twice as many Republicans as Democrats have voted in its August primaries over the past decade.

Supporters of the measure wouldn't say before the vote whether they intend to pursue a ban if it passes, but they've spent decades pushing for new restrictions on a nearly annual basis and many other states in the Midwest and South have banned abortion in recent weeks.