(NEXSTAR) – The June Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and left the issue of abortion rights to the states produced ballot questions in a handful of states this fall.
Three states ask voters for some variation on whether they want to establish a right to abortion, while only one state asks if its constitution needs to be changed to say there is no such right. abortion or government funding.
Kansas voters vehemently rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed lawmakers to tighten abortion laws or outright ban the procedure in August – the first such test since the High Court ruling .
Let’s take a closer look at what voters will decide when voting ends on November 8:
Which states have an abortion-related ballot measure?
California, Michigan and Vermont are all considering issues that would change their state constitutions to establish some form of abortion rights.
In California, Proposition 1 states that a “yes” vote would add language to the state constitution saying “the state shall not deny or interfere with the reproductive liberty of any individual in his or her most intimate decisions.” , which includes her basic right to choose to have an abortion and their basic right to choose or refuse contraceptives.
Instead of running campaign ads like his first TV spots, Governor Gavin Newsom decided to spend $2.5 million over two weeks on ads urging Californians to vote for Prop 1.
Kentucky is asking voters if they should amend the state constitution to say it doesn’t protect abortion rights.
Millions of dollars are pouring into the coffers of groups opposed to the amendment. Blue Grass State was one of approximately 12 states with so-called “trigger laws” to end abortion access as soon as Roe v. Wade was canceled.
Montana is asking voters if they should demand medical care and treatment for infants born alive after an attempted abortion.
Known as the “Born Alive” ballot initiative, the measure declares that an embryo or fetus that survives childbirth or an attempted abortion and is entitled to medical care.
Why are we voting for them now?
The ballot measures come in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in June that the US Constitution does not confer the right to abortion and “the power to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives. “.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott suggested in a statement this summer that the issue had taken on new urgency since the court ruling.
“It is more important than ever to ensure that women in our state have the right to make their own decisions about their health, their bodies and their futures,” he said.
Kentucky has moved to tighten restrictions on abortion since the GOP took control of the Legislature in 2016, and Montana’s Republican-controlled Legislature passed the legislation returning the issue to voters before the US Supreme Court’s decision this summer does not overrule Roe against Wade.
The Kentucky Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case about the state’s near-total ban on abortion after the November election, but kept that ban in place while the case is pending.
Abortion is currently legal in Vermont, with no limit on when it can be performed during a pregnancy. California and Michigan allow abortions before viability, generally defined as around 24 weeks. Montana also restricts abortions after viability, but a court has suspended a measure that would bar the procedure after 20 weeks of pending litigation.
When asked in a June 2022 NewsNation poll whether or not it should be possible for a woman to get a legal abortion, respondents overwhelmingly agreed that the child’s life would be in danger (62.10), the woman’s life would be in danger (72.04) and the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest (75.47).
Only 39.86% of respondents agreed that a woman should have access to a legal abortion if she “does not want to be pregnant for another reason”.
What is the status of abortion in the states now?
State legislatures and courts have changed the status of abortion laws in the United States.
Bans are in place on all stages of pregnancy in a dozen states.
In Wisconsin, clinics have stopped offering abortions, although there is a dispute over whether a ban is in effect.
In Georgia, abortion is banned as soon as heart activity is detected – usually around six weeks and before women often know they are pregnant.
Seven states, including the District of Columbia, do not restrict abortion by gestational interval at all.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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