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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Abortion Rights Backed by Midterm Voters in 5 States

On Election Day, residents of California, Michigan and Vermont passed ballot measures protecting abortion rights. And voters in Montana and Kentucky rejected initiatives that would have restricted access.

The Hill: Voters support abortion rights in all five states with ballot measures

Voters in California, Vermont and Michigan on Tuesday approved ballot measures enshrining abortion rights in their state constitutions, while the traditional Republican states of Montana and Kentucky rejected measures that would have restricted access to reproductive care. The votes signal the strength of the effort to support abortion rights after the Supreme Court ruled in June that it overturned the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to procedure. (Dress, 9/11)

The Guardian: US states vote to protect reproductive rights in rebuke of push against abortion

Voters in several states approved measures to enshrine abortion rights during Tuesday’s midterm elections, delivering a rebuke to the crackdown on reproductive freedoms taking place across the United States. (Noor and Cannon, 9/11)

The Wall Street Journal: Abortion Rights Supporters Prevail on Midterm Ballot Measures

The midterm elections provided the first national temperature take on voter attitudes toward abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June, ending federal constitutional protections for the procedure. The decision returned abortion policy to the states, creating a series of new battlefields. (Kusisto and Calfas, 9/11)

More information on the results from Vermont, California and Michigan:

VTDigger: Vermont Becomes First State to Enshrine Abortion Right in Its Constitution

Vermont’s founding document will now be added with an article 22, which will read in its entirety: “That an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is fundamental to the freedom and dignity to determine the course of one’s life and is not deny or infringe unless justified by a compelling interest of the State achieved by the least restrictive means”. (Dufort, 11/8)

Los Angeles Times: Californians vote to protect abortion rights with Prop. 1

“Today we send a loud and clear message to those who think they can control our bodies,” said Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), author of the bill that put Proposition 1 on the ballot. “In California, we will not back down.” (Gutierrez, 11/8)

Detroit Free Press: Proposition 3: Michigan Voters Approve Abortion Rights Measure

“Today, the people of Michigan voted to restore the reproductive rights they’ve had for 50 years,” said Darci McConnell, communications director for Reproductive Freedom for All, the group behind Proposition 3. “The passage of Proposition 3 marks a historic victory for abortion access in our state and in our country, and Michigan has paved the way for future efforts to restore the rights and protections of Roe v. Wade across the country.” (Hendrickson, 9/11)

Anti-abortion measures in Kentucky and Montana appear headed for a loss:

BBC News: Abortion election results: Kentucky poised to win for abortion

Abortion advocates in Kentucky are poised for an underdog victory as the final votes are counted in a statewide referendum on an anti-abortion measure. … However, the expected result will not automatically reverse the state’s current legislation, which almost completely bans abortion. (9/11)

The New York Times: Live Results: Montana Born-Alive Regulation

The measure would enact a law that would make any baby “born alive” at any gestational age a legal person, a protection that already exists under a federal law passed 20 years ago. It would criminalize health care providers who do not do everything possible to save the life of a baby “born during an attempted abortion” or after delivery or cesarean section. Doctors say they are concerned that the law limits palliative care for babies who are born but will not survive. (9/11)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a roundup of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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