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Health care, reproductive rights motivating factors for voters in Kansas and across the country  

Overland Park, KS—Voters in Kansas made their voices heard on Election Day, choosing Laura Kelly for governor in a race that frequently focused on health care access. Nearly a quarter of Kansas voters considered health care to be the motivating factor driving them to the polls on Tuesday, part of a nationwide trend reported throughout this election cycle.

“Kansas voters were crystal clear — it’s time to leave the Brownback experiment behind once and for all,” said Dr. Brandon J. Hill, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes. “Kansans won’t stand idly by as politicians push for dangerous and unpopular policies that strip us of our health care and basic rights. Governor-elect Laura Kelly committed to making health care affordable and accessible for all Kansans, and the voters heard her loud and clear.”

Kansas is one of seven states that gained a reproductive health champion in the governor’s mansion yesterday, significantly increasing the likelihood of state Medicaid expansion if given the opportunity to have a bipartisan partnership with their legislative majorities. Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes is committed to reminding state legislators that voters sent a strong message that they no longer want to see elected officials chip away at access to affordable health care.

“Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes reached over 70,000 Kansas voters through phone calls and digital ads because we knew access to reproductive health care was on the line in this election,” said Rachel Sweet, Regional Director of Public Policy and Organizing, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes. “These election results sent a clear message: We expect politicians to listen to us and fight to protect access to reproductive health care. We look forward to working with Governor Kelly on policies that expand access to health care for all Kansans, including sexual and reproductive health services.”

Kansas’ access to reproductive health care was on the line in this election. Since 2011, Governors Sam Brownback and Jeff Colyer attacked Planned Parenthood to distract from their own failed policies, instead of focusing on real problems that impact everyday Kansans. The Trump-Pence administration has undermined reproductive health and rights since day one. Most recently, the U.S. Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. With the future of Roe v. Wade in jeopardy, it is imperative that states elect strong leaders who will protect women’s access to care; Kansas has done just that by electing Laura Kelly.


Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)4 nonprofit organization that advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. We lobby state lawmakers, mobilize more than 120,000 grassroots supporters, and engage in issue education in order to protect and expand access to health care and comprehensive sex education in the communities we serve, and to promote Planned Parenthood’s mission.