Aug 19, 2022 - Health

Opponents, advocates spent $22 million on Kansas abortion vote

Signs in favor and against the Kansas Constitutional Amendment On Abortion are displayed on Aug. 1, 2022, in Lenexa, Kansas. Photo: Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

More than $22 million was spent on a ballot question this month regarding an amendment that would have gotten rid of abortion protections in the state's constitution, per AP.

Driving the news: Abortion rights supporters spent $11.3 million on a campaign that successfully defeated the proposed amendment, while abortion opponents backing the measure spent nearly $11.1 million, AP reported, citing finance reports.

Of note: Oscar-winning film director Steven Spielberg contributed $25,000 to the effort opposing the proposed amendment, AP reported. Spielberg's wife, actress Kate Capshaw, also gave another $25,000.

  • Former New York City Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg contributed $1.25 million.
  • The Sixteen Thirty Fund, which finances liberal causes, gave about $1.5 million, according to AP.

The other side: Roman Catholic dioceses and the Kansas Catholic Conference contributed more than $4.3 million to efforts supporting the proposed amendment.

The big picture: It was the first time since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade that U.S. voters cast ballots on abortion.

Background: On Aug. 2, Kansas voters rejected the amendment that would have added language to the state Constitution that said that "[b]ecause Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion."

  • Republican activists forced a recount although it won't change the outcome of the vote due to the margins.
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