Wade political convention before mid-November, a few hundred women gathered together over the weekend in Houston, with Democrats and advocates hoping for an end to constitutional abortion protections to inspire voters for them. Will do Party.
The Mahila Sammelan 2022, organized by the Women’s March organization, focused on women power in the ballot box.
Many attendees said that Kansas voters’ overwhelming rejection of a recent anti-abortion motion — in a historically red state — gave them hope for their cause.
“If Kansas can do it, why can’t we?” Attendee Kristen Artega said. “Kansas also shows that votes matter, even for people who think they probably can’t and they don’t go out to vote because of it.”
On August 2, a potential amendment to the Kansas Constitution that would have removed the state’s right to abortion failed by about 60–40%.
That result was widely celebrated by abortion access supporters but surprised some prominent Republican supporters.
“It was a gut punch,” Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall said the next day. “I’m just emotionally recovering from it. I’m shocked. I’m shocked. … But I respect the process and will try to figure out what’s next.”
At the Houston convention, Guess Against Guns organization participant Sarah Lilly said that “the best thing about Kansas is that it was a ballot box initiative, so the grassroots can really canvas and they can get people to go out and get abortions.” Can lift to vote against the ban.”
“Women are voting for their children, for their grandchildren,” Lily said. “I think it [Kansas] can really inspire people to go out and vote.”
Local political leaders at the convention highlighted the state-by-state struggle over abortion rights and said that Kansas was only the beginning.
“To my sisters, you’ve done so much. But there’s so much more to do and we can’t stop now,” said Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.
“Never expected Kansas voters to raise their voices… ‘No, don’t take away our right to reproductive freedom,'” Lee told the crowd. “It should be a wave mixed with the dignity of human rights and the rights of women across America and the dignity of our children and the dignity of our lives.”
Speaker Jenny Mae Jenkins, a TV host and producer, said “every state” should take seriously how to ensure abortion access.
“I think abortion is not just a big issue, I think abortion is a right,” she said. “And when it comes to your rights, it’s something that every state must lay down to make the right decisions.