‘Political Earthquake’; Nets Trumpet ‘Resounding’ ‘Support’ for Abortion in Kansas

August 3rd, 2022 5:54 PM

The broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC were ebullient Wednesday morning as they basked in what they deemed a “resounding victory” and “earthquake” for abortion in Kansas as there was a “massive show of support” to defeat a referendum that would have given the state legislature the power to enact pro-life measures in the Sunflower State.

ABC’s Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts hyped that “voters...[made] a statement about abortion rights” that would have “remove[d] protections” for women to kill their unborn child. Currently, Kansas law bans abortion after 20 weeks.



Co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos called it a “surprising” result on a referendum that must have “triggered a strong backlash” in “a deep red state where there are far more Republicans than Democrats.” 

Nowhere in ABC’s coverage (and on CBS and NBC) was the fact mentioned that not only does Kansas have a Democratic governor, but three of the last five have been Democrats.

Always a liberal lackey, congressional correspondent Rachel Scott gushed from Kansas that there “was a massive show of support for abortion rights in a conservative, traditionally red state less than six weeks after Roe vs. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court.”

“Voters in this state of Kansas sent a message that the right to abortion should be protected,” Scott added before boasting over the cheers at a gathering of abortion supporters as the results were revealed.

Not surprisingly, Scott’s reporting over two segments featured eight pro-choice soundbites to only four expressing a pro-life view.

She continued to brag: “The first political test in a post-Roe America, handing abortion rights groups a major victory.”

CBS Mornings wasn’t any better. Co-host Nate Burleson was quick to trumpet the result in an opening tease: “A big win in Kansas for abortion rights advocates. What it means for the midterms and America after Roe v. Wade.”

Fill-in co-host Jericka Duncan was similarly jazzed: “We begin with important primary election results, including a major victory for supporters of abortion rights. They celebrated in Kansas last night after voters rejected a move to remove abortion right protections from the state's constitution.”

Political correspondent Caitlin Huey-Burns said from Kansas that the “resounding victory for abortions rights supporters” “could have national implications” 

Speaking to Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas, an energized Huey-Burns asked him if “what happens here in Kansas could be a roadmap for other states.” Of course, Burns said “it is a roadmap for how...we make sure that we are asserting, defending, and protecting the rights of women to have access to care in any part of the country.”

On NBC’s Today, co-host Hoda Kotb followed ABC and CBS in leading off the show and teasing it from the get-go: “On the ballot. Overnight voters in Kansas vote overwhelmingly to protect abortion rights. The nation's first test at the polls since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Just ahead, the impact on the battles in other states[.]”

Tossing to senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson, Kotb said “[v]oters...sen[t] a strong message by striking down a proposed amendment that would have removed abortion protections from the state constitution.”

Jackson started by saying that the Kansas referendum “suggest[s] the end of Roe vs. Wade is motivating voters,” but at the end of the 7:00 a.m. Eastern report, she reminded fellow liberals of the “big picture” that “it's not just going to be abortion on the ballot” in November as voters will also be considering the state of the economy and inflation.

Prior to that, however, she ginned up her side (click “expand”):

JACKSON: In conservative Kansas this morning, a political earthquake and a big win for abortion rights supporters. Kansas voters rejecting an amendment that would have removed abortion protections from the state constitution, in effect, keeping access to the procedure there.

PRO-ABORTION ACTIVIST: So grateful and just overjoyed. [SCREEN WIPE] We did what Kansas needed us to do.

JACKSON: President Biden overnight saying the vote “makes clear what we know: the majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion.” It's the first time abortion has been on the ballot since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The results in Kansas suggesting the court's decision is galvanizing abortion rights supporters less than 100 days until the midterm elections.

PRO-ABORTION ACTIVIST: I hope we inspire other states when they get the opportunity to vote to really think about a woman’s choice.


JACKSON: [Y]ou gotta look at the turnout here. It was big, right? 900,000 people voted here, nearly double the number of people who voted back in the 2018 primaries. And when you dig into the numbers, when you — when you really get into it, there's a suggestion that a sizeable number of Republicans voted for protecting the current abortion access in Kansas. You can see that in the drop-off of how many Republicans voted in the Kansas primary races versus on this abortion measure.


JACKSON: And listen, you've gotta call it what it is, right? A kind of political earthquake in conservative Kansas this morning. This decisive win for abortion rights supporters with Kansas voters choosing to protect abortion access there by rejecting an amendment that would have removed those protections from the state constitution. Turnout — this was a big deal —near double the number of people voted on Tuesday than in the 2018 primaries...suggesting the court's decision is really galvanizing abortion rights supporters for now.

Wednesday’s celebration of murder was made possible thanks to the endorsement of advertisers such as Geico (on ABC), Google (on ABC and NBC), and Kohl’s (on CBS). Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant transcripts from August 3, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC).