Pro-choice forces fought misdirection and marshalled enormous turnout. Can their success be replicated?
By Peter Slevin
August 7, 2022
It was Election Night in a hotel ballroom in Overland Park, Kansas, and Ashley All didn’t know what to think. For months, she had been a public face in the fight to protect abortion rights from a ballot initiative that would change the state constitution and open the door to severe restrictions, or even a ban. Polling had been iffy, the opposition had been relentless, and she was afraid to trust the promising early returns. Nervous, she ducked into a conference room, where Mike Gaughan, a friend and colleague, was sitting at a computer. “He pointed out the impressive numbers in some of the big counties and also great numbers in some not-so-big counties in rural areas,” All told me. It was really happening. A broad coalition with a fresh message was beating the Kansas right-to-lifers at their own game.