Frankel: Kansas a pro-choice victory but PA must remain vigilant
Warns far right will continue to push anti-choice agenda in year ahead
PITTSBURGH, Aug. 3 – The day after voters in Kansas resoundingly voted to defeat a state constitutional amendment that would have paved the way for abortion bans in the state, state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, warned that despite the victory, voters in Pennsylvania must remain vigilant as far-right legislators push a similar constitutional amendment in the commonwealth.
“Kansans had an important victory last night, and we all learned what we’d long suspected: When it's citizens instead of politicians casting votes, the message is clear -- voters want to protect abortion rights," said Frankel, Democratic Chair of the PA House Health Committee, who also called the result a clear message both to the Republican majority attempting to restrict abortion rights and to Pennsylvanians.
"Republicans held this referendum during a primary. That's when turnout is usually lower and passage should have been easier,” he noted. “We saw the result -- a resounding rejection of their constitutional amendment. Hopefully, this is what anti-abortion rights politicians will meet in Pennsylvania and across the country."
In July, Pennsylvania Republicans pushed through the legislature a proposed sweeping constitutional amendment which, among other provisions, would deny the right to an abortion in the state constitution. The amendment, which could go before voters as soon as next spring, was passed through both legislative chambers late at night and is not subject to the governor’s veto.
“Republicans should heed this warning. The measure stripping Kansans of the right to abortion was placed on a primary ballot in a state where Republican voters far outnumber Democratic voters. Many heavily Republican areas showed surprising opposition to the constitutional amendment, while Democrats turned out in large numbers to oppose the amendment,” Frankel said. “Autonomy and individual liberty should not be partisan issues. Pennsylvanians who believe in those fundamental rights should feel buoyed by the Kansas victory – when we aren’t blocked by gerrymandering and Republican manipulation of the voting process, we know how to say exactly what we want – protection for the rights of pregnant people and their families.”