‘Victory March’ held in Downtown Wichita abortion amendment defeat
A group of Wichitans against the proposed abortion amendment hosted a “Victory March” Saturday following Tuesday’s primary election.
The proposed amendment, which could have led to abortion restrictions in Kansas up to an all out ban, failed on Aug. 2 by about 40% of the vote. Organizers of Saturday's march Faith Martin and Abby Bailey had already hosted multiple rallies in Wichita before the election.
“Today was the next logical step, bringing everyone together, because it was a broad coalition of people that all came together for one purpose,” Martin said.
The group marched from Old Town Square to Wave for a celebration in Downtown Wichita. Kathy Camden, who’s been campaigning against the amendment all summer, said she was glad everyone had a chance to come together and relax.
“It's been stressful, and this has been a relief,” Camden said. “It's nice to have a win.”
The Aug. 2 primary saw high voter turnout across the state and in Sedgwick County. It was the first abortion-related vote in the United States after the Supreme Court’s overruling of Roe V. Wade.
“Polling had shown 50/50, and then to see it called so early, it was very overwhelming,” Martin said.
Supporters of the amendment told KAKE News they believe people didn’t understand exactly what it meant because of misinformation. This, paired with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, are two possible reasons supporters gave for the amendment not passing.
“Nobody expected that, like, if you look at any of the news articles that they've written about us, no one expected this,” Bailey said.
Martin and Bailey said they are looking into next steps to continue voter engagement in the Wichita community, especially ahead of the November General Election. But for now, a day to celebrate was much needed.
“We're going to focus on continuing to register people, to get them excited about the election in November and to stay engaged and to get those advanced ballot applications in,” Martin said.