US: Kansas votes to protect abortion access in Roe v Wade test | Women’s Rights News

Kansas voters have rejected an effort to take away abortion protections from the state’s structure, a powerful win for the abortion rights motion within the first statewide electoral take a look at since the US Supreme Courtroom overturned Roe v Wade in June.

The modification’s failure within the conservative state on Tuesday lifted Democrats’ hopes that the problem of abortion rights will energise voters in November’s midterm elections whilst they fear about surging inflation.

The consequence additionally will forestall Kansas’s Republican-led legislature from passing extreme abortion restrictions within the state, which has turn out to be a key abortion entry level for the US heartland.

Political analysts had anticipated the Kansas modification to go, provided that Republicans usually end up in larger numbers for the state’s major elections than Democrats and independents.

However Tuesday’s vote drew the next than anticipated turnout. With 98 p.c of the vote counted, 59 p.c of voters favoured preserving abortion rights in contrast with practically 41 p.c who supported eradicating abortion protections from the state structure, in line with Edison Analysis.

US President Joe Biden joined Democrats throughout the nation in applauding the outcomes on Tuesday.

“This vote makes clear what we all know: Nearly all of People agree that girls ought to have entry to abortion and may have the proper to make their very own well being care choices,” Biden mentioned in a press release.

Kansas Republicans had been pushing for a state constitutional modification to eradicate abortion rights since 2019, when the Kansas Supreme Courtroom dominated the state structure protected the proper to abortion.

“Kansans bluntly rejected anti-abortion politicians’ makes an attempt at making a reproductive police state,” mentioned Kimberly Inez McGuire, govt director of Unite for Reproductive & Gender Fairness.

”In the present day’s vote was a strong rebuke and a promise of the mounting resistance.”

Kansas’s poll initiative is the primary of a number of that can ask US voters to weigh in on abortion rights this yr. Kentucky, California, Vermont and presumably Michigan could have abortion on the poll this fall.

The profitable “vote no” marketing campaign in Kansas might provide a blueprint to abortion rights teams trying to harness voter power within the wake of Roe’s reversal, Allen mentioned.

“This needs to be an actual wake-up name for abortion opponents,” Neal Allen, a political science professor at Wichita State College, advised Reuters information company.

“When a complete ban seems to be like a risk, you then’re going to get lots of people to end up and also you’re going to lose quite a lot of the extra average supporters of abortion restrictions.”

On account of the ruling, Kansas has maintained extra lenient insurance policies than different conservative neighbours. The state permits abortion as much as 22 weeks of being pregnant with a number of restrictions, together with a compulsory 24-hour ready interval and obligatory parental consent for minors.

Sufferers journey to Kansas for abortions from Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and different states which have banned the process virtually totally because the Supreme Courtroom in June overturned Roe, the 1973 resolution that legalised abortion nationwide.

Tuesday’s referendum drew nationwide consideration and cash. The Worth Them Each Affiliation, which supported the modification, raised about $4.7m this yr, about two-thirds of that from regional Catholic dioceses, in line with marketing campaign finance information.

Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, the principle coalition opposing the modification, raised about $6.5m, together with greater than $1m from Deliberate Parenthood teams.

Susan B Anthony Professional-Life America, a nationwide anti-abortion group, mentioned it spent $1.4 million to advertise the modification and canvassed 250,000 properties in Kansas.

“Tonight’s loss is a big disappointment for pro-life Kansans and People nationwide,” mentioned Mallory Carroll, a spokesperson for the group. “The stakes for the pro-life motion within the upcoming midterm elections couldn’t be larger.”

Biden visit to test South Korean leader’s tough talk on China | International Trade News

Seoul, South Korea – Throughout campaigning in South Korea’s presidential election, Yoon Suk-yeol promised to strike a transparent path in his nation’s long-running dilemma over how one can stability relations with the US and China.

With the 2 international superpowers jostling for financial and navy supremacy in Asia, the candidate for the conservative Individuals Energy Occasion pledged to decisively aspect with its safety ally the US, even when it risked South Korea’s essential commerce relationship with China.

Yoon stated he would go so far as to develop the presence of a US missile defence system referred to as THAAD in South Korea, which sparked pricey unofficial sanctions on South Korean items and tradition by China and set off years of frosty relations.

Solely weeks after taking workplace on Could 10, Yoon will see his loyalties examined in his personal again yard on Friday, when US President Joe Biden visits Seoul as a part of a visit to Asia that additionally consists of Japan, one other US ally.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks, after paying respects and meeting with victims, family, first responders and law enforcement who were affected by the mass shooting committed by a gunman authorities say was motivated by racism, at Delavan Grider Community Center in Buffalo, NY.
US President Joe Biden’s upcoming go to to Seoul has highlighted South Korea’s tough balancing act between Washington and Beijing [File: Leah Millis/Reuters]

Biden’s go to comes as international commerce is going through strain from greater than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions to vitality and meals provide chains resulting from Russia’s struggle on Ukraine.

China is by far South Korea’s largest buying and selling associate, taking greater than one-quarter of its exports, and Seoul depends on its large neighbour to energy key industries akin to chips and autos. South Korea additionally has a complete safety alliance with the US that dates again to the 1950-53 Korean Struggle. The nation nonetheless hosts roughly 28,000 American troops on its soil.

On the eve of his first assembly with Biden, Yoon, a former prosecutor with no political expertise previous to turning into president, seems to be shortly studying simply how troublesome it’s for the chief of an export-dependent, mid-sized Asia Pacific nation to stability commerce, safety and diplomatic priorities at a time of rising rivalry between the world’s two largest economies.

Although he talked robust on China earlier than taking workplace, Yoon’s early actions as president recommend he has reckoned with the necessity to stability South Korea’s alliance with the US with its commerce reliance on China. Notably, he seems to have walked again his attention-grabbing election marketing campaign promise to deploy extra THAAD batteries in South Korea, with the pledge omitted from a listing of governance duties just lately launched by his workplace.

He additionally held telephone talks with Chinese language President Xi Jinping earlier than taking workplace, throughout which the 2 leaders exchanged cordial statements about bilateral relations. Chinese language Vice President Wang Qishan travelled to Seoul to attend Yoon’s inauguration on Could 10, and earlier than his journey, China’s overseas ministry described the international locations as “shut neighbours” and “essential cooperation companions”.

Whereas in Seoul, Wang conveyed a letter from Xi inviting Yoon to make an official go to to China.

Xi Jinping
Chinese language President Xi Jinping has invited South Korea’s new president to go to Beijing [File: Andy Wong/AP]

Either side have an incentive to keep up the strong bilateral commerce of current years. Final 12 months, South Korea’s exports to China rose greater than 20 p.c, pushed by brisk shipments of semiconductors and metal.

In April, with main Chinese language cities underneath lockdown resulting from COVID-19, shipments declined 3.4 p.c from a 12 months earlier after gaining 16.6 p.c in March, in keeping with the South Korean commerce ministry.

In his dealings with China, Yoon is prone to search to navigate these financial headwinds whereas being cautious to not be seen as taking Beijing’s aspect over Washington.

“Growing US-China rivalry places Korea, and plenty of Southeast Asian international locations, in a troublesome place,” Erik Mobrand, a political scientist at Seoul Nationwide College, informed Al Jazeera. “The query is, if Yoon’s place on China brings financial retaliation, how does he reply to that?”

“It’s one factor to speak robust on China whereas campaigning,” Mobrand added. “It’s one other to make a press release or take motion as president and face the potential of responses from China.”

Ballot information signifies a souring of public opinion on China, notably amongst younger folks, who as voters have been a coveted demographic within the March presidential election.

In a survey carried out by present affairs journal Sisain and pollster Hankook Analysis in June, simply 26 p.c of respondents had heat emotions in direction of China, in contrast with 57 p.c who felt warmly in direction of the US.

Among the many causes for his or her unfavourable impression, respondents pointed to South Korea’s drawback with air air pollution – which many South Koreans blame on poorly regulated carbon-emitting factories in China – Beijing’s gradual response within the early levels of the coronavirus pandemic, and unlawful fishing by Chinese language vessels in South Korean waters.

Within the carefully fought election, Yoon appeared to intentionally faucet into this negativity with the hope of mobilising voters.
“Yoon’s emphasis on a forceful diplomatic strategy to China displays the present state of affairs the place the South Korean public’s impression of China may be very unfavourable,” Shin Jung-seung, a former South Korean ambassador to China, informed Al Jazeera.

“The emphasis on the alliance with the US is inevitable at a time when safety issues, just like the North Korean nuclear risk and the struggle in Ukraine, are rising. However that doesn’t imply that Yoon will neglect relations with China.”

Cooperation on commerce and infrastructure

Whereas in Seoul, Biden may search a dedication from Yoon to have South Korea be a part of the Indo-Pacific Financial Framework (IPEF), a proposed US-led physique that may facilitate cooperation on commerce and infrastructure between the US and Asia. South Korea is among the many international locations anticipated to participate, together with Japan, Australia and others.

Although the Biden administration has not but provided a transparent clarification of the precise capabilities of the IPEF, analysts have argued that the purpose of the physique is to assist the US counter rising Chinese language financial clout in Asia.

In feedback to South Korea’s legislature on Monday, Yoon indicated that he’ll talk about the IPEF throughout Biden’s go to and that he’s in favour of South Korea becoming a member of. On Wednesday, the presidential Blue Home confirmed that Yoon will just about attend a summit in Tokyo subsequent week the place Biden will formally launch the initiative.

Biden’s journey will subsequently require cautious messaging from Yoon as he makes an attempt to stability relations with Washington and Beijing, however can be an opportunity for the brand new South Korean chief to make good on guarantees he made on the marketing campaign path.

“Yoon desires to develop the US-South Korea alliance and make it extra complete, which implies having a higher curiosity within the Indo-Pacific and a higher connection in chosen areas, akin to COVID or provide chain resilience,” Mason Richey, a professor of politics at Hankuk College of Overseas Research in Seoul, informed Al Jazeera.

“Yoon might want to again up this coverage choice when Biden involves the area.”