The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion There is power in voting

Voter mark their ballots during the primary election and abortion referendum at a polling station in Kansas City, Kan., on Aug. 2. (Eric Cox/Reuters)
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Regarding the Aug. 3 front-page article “Kansas voters reject bid to undo abortion rights”:

Women’s reproductive rights are the canary in the coal mine. If a Republican-tainted Supreme Court can easily strip basic health-care decisions from half of Americans, what is next? Voting rights, protections for LGBTQ individuals and many other democratic liberties we take for granted are in jeopardy. The resounding defeat of the Kansas antiabortion amendment is a bright light in these dark times. We can’t rely on our institutions anymore to protect us. We must get out and vote to protect our freedoms while we still can.

Ellen Coffey, Cumberland, Md.

I appreciate The Post’s in-depth coverage on Aug. 4 of the vote upholding a woman’s right to an abortion in Kansas. During the early 1960s, when I was a student at Oklahoma State University, I knew classmates who had to drive for two hours to Wichita, Kan., to get an abortion. Given the recent passage of draconian antiabortion laws in Oklahoma, considered the strictest in the nation, many more Oklahoma women will again have to make that trek. Luckily, Kansas has upheld its reasonable restrictions on abortions (up to 22 weeks of pregnancy).

This is just another reason that after living in liberal D.C. for all these years after graduation (and where I was able to obtain a legal abortion without any hassles 15 years later), I would never move back to my super-conservative home state. While I have several Catholic friends there who support a woman’s right to choose, I doubt that a similar vote in Oklahoma would be won so overwhelmingly.

Loretta Neumann, Washington