Nearly $6 million poured into Kansas’ fight over abortion rights in the final weeks of campaigning with donations coming in from New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg and Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg.
In the final two weeks of the campaign, Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, the main abortion rights group in the campaign, raised nearly twice as much as the anti-abortion Value Them Both Coalition, according to campaign finance reports released this week.
Kansans for Constitutional Freedom brought in about $3.87 million and spent roughly $4.86 million, between July 18 and Aug. 2. The Value Them Both Coalition brought in roughly $1.97 million and spent just under $1.71 million, during the same period.
Ultimately, abortion rights supporters had a major victory in Kansas defeating the amendment, which would have stripped the right to abortion from the state constitution. Roughly 59% of Kansas voters rejected the amendment on Aug. 2, giving the vote no side a victory by more than 165,000 votes. Despite the landslide result, a recount is taking place this week in nine counties after far-right activists raised roughly $120,000 to cover the cost.
Much of Kansans for Constitutional Freedom’s new funds came from national and regional organizations including $550,000 from Families United for Freedom, $300,000 from NARAL Pro-Choice America, $200,000 from the AB Foundation, $125,000 from the Center for Reproductive Rights and $125,000 from the Trust Women Foundation in Wichita.
Their largest donation, however, was a $1.25 million contribution from Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who mounted an unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 2020.
Spielberg, the internationally famous director of “Jaws,” “E.T.,” and “Schindler’s List,” contributed $25,000.
Actress Kate Capshaw, who married Spielberg after they met when he directed her in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” also donated $25,000.
The campaign drew national attention as the first ballot test of abortion rights in a post-Roe America.
The Value Them Both Coalition’s primary donor continued to be the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
The archdiocese, which governs Catholic churches across eastern Kansas, donated an additional $730,000 in the final weeks of the campaign. The archdiocese had already donated nearly $3 million in the past two years and in total spent $3.68 million on the campaign.