Voters in three states decided on Tuesday to protect the right to abortion, CNN projects, following a month-long push by Democrats nationwide to act on the issue following the decision of the Supreme Court quashing Roe v. Wade in June.
Lawmakers and party organizers have framed the midterm elections as a referendum on Republican efforts to limit women’s choices, though voters have consistently expressed more concern over issues such as the economy.
“This fall, Roe is on the ballot,” President Joe Biden said in a provocative speech from the White House just hours after the Supreme Court ruling.
While CNN predicted some anti-abortion Republicans would win their races, voters in key states made clear their support for abortion rights through a number of ballot measures.
Here’s a running list of what voters decided on Election Day.
Michigan voters voted on Tuesday to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution, a move that will help prevent a decades-old abortion ban from taking effect, CNN projects.
The passage of Ballot 3 amends Michigan’s constitution to establish an “individual right to reproductive freedom, including the right to make and carry out all decisions regarding pregnancy.”
Michigan has a 1931 law that essentially bans abortion in the state, but that law is blocked by the courts. Passing the vote proposal prevents the ban from taking effect.
The amendment allows the state to regulate abortion after fetal viability, except as necessary to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health. It also prohibits the state from prosecuting an individual for having an abortion or miscarriage or from prosecuting anyone who assists a pregnant person to “exercise the rights established by this amendment.”
The proposal had to overcome legal challenges to be included on the ballot, with the Michigan Supreme Court ordering officials in September to include the issue on the ballots in a 5-2 decision.
“We are now more energetic and motivated than ever to restore the protections that were lost under Roe,” Darci McConnell, spokesperson for Reproductive Freedom for All, a group supporting the effort, said in a statement after the decision.
Michigan Republicans had lambasted the court’s decision, as well as another on a voting rights ballot proposal. “Despite the court’s decision, these measures remain too extreme for Michigan, and we are confident they will be easily defeated at the ballot box in November,” Elizabeth Giannone, the state party’s deputy communications director, predicted in a statement. earlier this year.
California’s Constitution will protect the right to abortion after residents passed a ballot initiative on Tuesday to enshrine the right in the state’s guiding document, CNN projects.
Currently, the state constitution guarantees a right to privacy, which the California Supreme Court found includes the right to have an abortion.
In May, following the leak of the United States Supreme Court’s draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, California Democratic leaders Governor Gavin Newsom, the President of the State Senate, Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, and State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said in a statement that they would move an amendment “so that there is no doubt about the right to abortion in this State”.
The Democratic-controlled state legislature in June approved the amendment’s entry into the November ballot.
“Proposition 1 ensures that no matter what the future legislature looks like, what the future governor looks like, that the people of California enjoy constitutional protection that explicitly guarantees that the state will not interfere with their right to liberty reproduction,” Jodi Hicks, the head of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and co-chair of the Yes on Prop 1 campaign, previously told CNN.
The California Family Council had said the proposed amendment was an “extreme and costly proposal that does nothing to improve women’s health.” And the California Catholic Conference, which opposes Proposition 1, called it “a misleading ballot measure that allows unlimited late-term abortions — for any reason, at any time, even moments before birth.” , paid for with taxpayers’ money.
The Yes on Prop 1 campaign previously said the proposal would not change “existing constitutional protections and state law, which provide the right to choose an abortion before viability or to protect the life or health of the person.” pregnant”.
The measure comes into effect on the fifth day after the certification of the vote.
Vermont voters on Tuesday approved an amendment to the state’s constitution that abortion-rights supporters say will protect “everyone’s right to make their own reproductive decisions,” including with respect to pregnancies, abortion and birth control, projects CNN.
The Vermont Constitution will now be amended to read: “That an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the freedom and dignity to determine one’s own course of life and must not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling state interest achieved by the least restrictive means”.
Abortion is currently legal at all stages of pregnancy in Vermont. The proposed amendment was first introduced by the Vermont Legislature in 2019.
Vermont for Reproductive Liberty Ballot Committee, the coalition that backed Section 22, previously said state-level protections “are vital to ensuring access” now that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade.
“That would mean abortion access has been codified in the state constitution, and the most important part of that is that it’s protected for the long term, and that means access will be there, whatever our politicians do. Sam Donnelly, the coalition’s campaign manager, previously told CNN.
Proponents and opponents of Section 22 have said its passage means Vermont lawmakers cannot pass limitations or regulations on abortion in the future because it would then be deemed unconstitutional.
Mary Beerworth, executive director of the Vermont Right to Life Committee, which opposes the amendment, said the proposal goes “much, much further” than codifying abortion rights in the state constitution .
“It will be a wide range of everything related to your personal reproductive autonomy, from surrogacy, embryo to three parents, custom babies, minors who can access hormone blockers for transgender surgery without the knowledge or consent of their parents,” she previously said. CN. “It opens up a whole new world here if it passes.”
Kentucky. Voters in Blue Grass State on Tuesday considered an amendment to the state constitution to say it does not “guarantee or protect a right” to abortion or abortion funding.
The ballot question facing voters read, “Do you support amending the Kentucky Constitution by creating a new section of the Constitution numbered Section 26A to state the following: to protect human life , nothing in this Constitution shall be construed as guaranteeing or protecting a right to abortion or requiring the financing of abortion?
Montana. Voters in Montana, meanwhile, have been considering a referendum that would impose criminal penalties on health care providers who fail to act to preserve the lives of infants born during abortions.
This story will be updated as election results become available.
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