Dnevnik not really surprised by Kansas referendum outcome

Ljubljana – The outcome of a referendum on the right to abortion in the conservative US state of Kansas is not as surprising as it might seem initially, since it reaffirms what opinion polls have been saying all along, says Dnevnik on Thursday, highlighting that the divide on this issue is not as simple as the Republicans vs Democrats divide.

Opinion polls have been saying for a long time that a majority of Americans support the right to abortion, and only 8% are in favour of a blanket ban in this case, says the commentary under the headline Message from Red America.

“In Kansas, those figures have been put into practice. The referendum also showed that the issue of the right to abortion is not one where its opponents and supporters can simply be equated with Republicans and Democrats.”

According to initial results, the referendum has drawn more Democrats and fewer Republicans than before. The Democratic Party has been trying to mobilise voters ever since a draft decision of the Supreme Court was leaked to the public in May and it became clear that the court will allow states to ban abortion.

Democrats, also because they lack notable successes, are trying to minimise or even prevent their predicted defeat in November elections.

“One of the three Supreme Court judges who ruled in favour of preserving the right to abortion, Elena Kagan, warned last month that the Supreme Court should not lose touch with the American public and its mood, as this could even end up being dangerous for democracy.

“Kansas was not the final test, but the first, which shows that this touch is short-lived on the abortion issue.” But Kagan’s warning was more of a forward-looking note of caution, since the current Supreme Court line-up could overturn other rulings as well, including the right to same-sex marriages that was supported by a record 71% in a Gallup poll last month.

The paper says that the US culture war revolving around the three Gs – guns, gays and God – can come back even though it seemed that it was de-escalating in the previous decade.