Here’s how conservatives are trying to spin their abortion loss in Kansas


Tuesday Kansas shocked the nation when voters in the conservative state rebuffed an attempt to remove constitutional protections for the right to abortion.

Abortion rights activists seemed to be having a tough climb. Democrats have not won the state in a presidential election since 1964. While Governor Laura Kelly is a Democrat, Republicans dominate the state legislature.

And abortion opponents deliberately chose to put the referendum on the ballot on a day when turnout was expected to be low and the electorate was expected to favor Republicans. With no competitive Democratic primaries on the ballot, they figured GOP voters would be the ones heading to the polls.

But the Conservatives not only lost, they definitely lost. Fifty-nine percent voted “no” to amend the constitution, while only 41% voted “yes.” More than 900,000 people voted, nearly double the state’s turnout in the 2018 midterm elections. And according to a Washington Post analysis, 1 in 5 Republicans voted against the referendum.

“It’s definitely a wake-up call for us,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) admitted to HuffPost on Wednesday.

While some Republicans are still in shock, others are already trying to spin the results. They argue that the results are actually exactly what they wanted all along. They make no sense. Voters have been duped and actually want to get rid of abortion rights. (Notably, Fox News devoted significantly less airtime to the results than liberal-leaning MSNBC.)

Here are some of the ways conservatives try to explain massive support for abortion rights in Kansas:

The Liberals spent millions of dollars.

Conservatives claim they were the ones at a disadvantage in Kansas as they faced a spending onslaught from Liberals.

Pro-abortions paid millions in a massive disinformation campaign in Kansas. Pro-abortion media fired hard for them,” tweeted conservative activist Lila Rose, who also reiterated that message in a Fox News interview Thursday morning.

“I think pro-lifers should understand that so much money has been spent by hardcore abortion supporters to make sure this amendment fails,” Mollie Hemingway, editor of the conservative publication The Federalist, told Fox News.

Conservatives have claimed that proponents of abortion have swamped the law by spending on fighting the Kansas amendment, a claim that is simply not true.

Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Yes, abortion advocates have poured millions into the Kansas struggle, but so have abortion opponents. The Conservatives’ spin conveniently leaves out all the money they spent to make the election measure succeed.

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that about $12 million was spent on advertising in the campaign, “split roughly evenly between the two camps.”

The Catholic Church, in particular, funded the majority of the Value Them Both campaign, which was the main group behind the yes vote.

The Liberals have confused voters too much.

Yes, the wording of the referendum was confusing. And it was on purpose – but not because of the liberals. It was because of the Conservatives, who are the ones who wrote it and lobbied for it to be on the ballots.

For example, the measure said it would ban “government funding for abortion,” even though Kansas already bans the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion. He also said he would “affirm that there is no constitutional right to abortion.” But voting “yes” would actually have done more, by completely removing the existing constitutional right of access.

The amendment also stated that by voting “yes”, the legislature would be authorized to pass laws regarding abortion, including those that provide exceptions for cases resulting from rape and incest, or to save the life of the mother. He never said that a total ban, without exception, could also be adopted.

“How many Kansans who are generally pro-life but not hip have gone to the polls, read the ballot language and thought, ‘Damn, I don’t want to let the legislature pass abortion laws. I’m pro-life'” tweeted right-wing commentator Erick Erickson, suggesting the language was slanted in a way that favored abortion supporters.

“The abortion lobby’s message to voters was riddled with lies that ultimately drowned out the truth,” read a statement from anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

But on Monday, some Kansas voters received text messages warning, “KS women are losing choice over reproductive rights. Voting YES to the Amendment will give women a choice. Vote YES to protect women’s health.

These texts were incredibly misleading at best. Voting “yes” would have removed choice protections, opening the door for the GOP-led legislature to ban abortion. They were pushed by Republicans, fabricated by a group linked to former Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.).

The amendment was actually supposed to be After anti-abortion.

Kansas traditionally leans Republican, but that voter registration advantage wasn't enough to pass the anti-abortion amendment.
Kansas traditionally leans Republican, but that voter registration advantage wasn’t enough to pass the anti-abortion amendment.

John Hanna/Associated Press

While some conservatives say the amendment wasn’t as far-reaching as described, GOP activist and commentator Matt Schlapp believes the problem is that the amendment didn’t go far enough — and conservatives s opposed it because they wanted something that went further. outright prohibition of abortion.

“Kansas is a strongly pro-life state that doesn’t want to take half-hearted steps like VTB [Value Them Both] has been. Ironically the Kansas pro crowd should have embraced VTB as it’s the best case scenario for them,” he tweeted on Wednesday.

This is not at all a loss for the conservatives!

And finally, conservatives are trying to spin the loss in Kansas — and what it could mean for the midterm elections, with a fiery Democratic base following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization―saying that they actually didn’t lose at all. That’s what they wanted all the time!

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told HuffPost on Wednesday that was a “good thing” because it pushed the problem back to the United States.

“Well, I wouldn’t have voted that way. I think the process is a good thing. I don’t want to jump up and down about it too much because I think that’s how it should work,” he said.

“The whole point of ending Roe is that states like Kansas can decide abortion on their own,” Erickson also tweeted. “The media excitement makes the Dobbs case argument a bit for itself. Exactly the goal – decide this democratically at state level.

On Fox News on Wednesday, Kellyanne Conway, a former top aide to President Donald Trump, said that was “exactly” what the Dobbs decision was meant to do – “bring the decision back to the states.”

And an op-ed in the conservative National Review said the amendment would have simply “brought Kansas back to abortion neutrality” — though the liberals twisted it into a ban and won.

And yet… Republicans are already making clear their interest in a national abortion ban.

Igor Bobic contributed reporting.



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