Opinion: Women for choice are a voting force. Kansas just showed us how

(AP File Photo by John Hanna / Anne Melia in July went door-to-door in Merriam, Kansas, to discuss her opposition to a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution that would allow legislators to further restrict or ban abortion. Voters last week resoundingly defeated the amendment.

We've said it before. Women will not go back. Nor will plenty of men. Kansas just proved it.

In January, in a conservative state where the majority of Republican state lawmakers put a state constitutional amendment on the ballot that would open a path to stripping abortion rights there, lawmakers thought the proposition couldn't possibly lose. Especially since they stacked the deck, putting the amendment on the August primary ballot - an election in which few people vote, and those who do are typically Republicans.

But the gambit did lose. In fact, it lost big: About 60% of voters wanted to maintain the abortion protections in the Kansas constitution, compared with about 40% who wanted to remove the constitutional right to abortion from the state constitution.

Turnout for Tuesday's primary election far exceeded other contests in recent years.