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'It really takes all hands on deck': What Kansas abortion vote means for Missouri, other states

Mallory Schwarz of Pro-Choice Missouri said advocates are “exploring every possible option,” adding “what this shows us is that abortion wins in red states.”

ST. LOUIS — When the results came in Tuesday night, there were hugs of celebration and loss surrounding the failed voter initiative to restrict abortion access in Kansas.

RELATED: Kansas voters protect abortion rights, block path to ban

The votes came out strong against the measure to remove a key privacy right from the state constitution, at times pushing the percentage as high as 60%.

“I think that it was surprising for a lot of people, including myself,” 5 On Your Side Political Analyst Anita Manion said, especially when you looked at the demographics.

“About four out of 10 voters in a red state in rural areas still supported the right to abortion in that state,” she said. “And then overwhelming support by suburban and independent voters, and that's who everyone's always fighting for: those voters.”

Those numbers are welcome news to the Missouri abortion rights advocates who have spent the past few months watching Roe v. Wade struck down and Missouri’s trigger law go into effect.

"What we saw in the resounding Kansas victory last night is that abortion is not a niche issue,” Mallory Schwarz, Pro-Choice Missouri CEO, said.

Schwarz said the health care providers in Southern Illinois were preparing for a 200% patient increase when Roe v. Wade fell, already seeing patients from "Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and further.”

An open western border gives more options to groups like Midwest Access Coalition, which provides transportation to patients seeking abortions.

"It's a win for Kansas. It's a win for Missouri. It's really a win for healthcare and abortion access everywhere,” Director Of Strategic Partnerships Alison Drieth said.

Drieth said she was a part of talks several years ago to put abortion protections in a ballot initiative.

"It's very expensive and very time-consuming to get something like this on the ballot, and so it really takes all hands on deck not just the abortion players like Pro-Choice Missouri or Planned Parenthood," she said.

Schwarz said advocates are “exploring every possible option,” adding “what this shows us is that abortion wins in red states.”

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