In November, these states might decide on reproductive rights and abortion access through voting

Where are initiatives confirmed on the ballot?

In Maryland and New York, voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on a measure concerning reproductive rights in the upcoming November election. It is worth noting that abortion is already widely permitted in both states, with New York allowing it until fetal viability, as stated in research conducted by the Guttmacher Institute.

Maryland voters will have the opportunity to vote on an act that seeks to establish the right to obtain an abortion as a constitutional right in Maryland.

In New York, voters will have the opportunity to vote on the Equal Rights Amendment constitutional amendment. This amendment aims to ban discrimination based on various characteristics, including “reproductive health care and autonomy,” as stated in the bill’s text.

Where are initiatives gathering signatures?

In Arizona, activists are collecting signatures for the Arizona Abortion Access Act ballot initiative. The initiative aims to amend the state’s constitution and protect abortion rights. If passed, the law would prevent the state from passing legislation against abortion until fetal viability. It would also establish other safeguards for abortion access. Currently, Arizona restricts abortion after 15 weeks and imposes various limitations, as reported by the Guttmacher Institute.

In the upcoming November election, Arizona will witness a highly anticipated Senate race between Republican candidate Kari Lake and Democratic candidate Rep. Ruben Gallego.

In Arkansas, various groups are currently gathering signatures to put the Arkansas Abortion Amendment on the ballot. This initiative aims to amend the state constitution, preventing the government from imposing a ban on abortions beyond 18 weeks. Notably, the proposed amendment includes exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s health is at risk. It is important to note that Arkansas presently enforces a strict ban on abortions, allowing for only limited exceptions.

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In Colorado, a state where abortion is unrestricted but Medicaid coverage for abortion is typically prohibited, there are currently competing initiatives that are gathering signatures.

The “Right to Abortion” initiative aims to secure the right to abortion in the state constitution, as stated in the initiative text. On the other hand, the “Equal Protection of Every Living Child in Colorado” initiative seeks to incorporate language into state statutes that completely prohibit abortion. It frames this prohibition as a means of safeguarding children from the moment of conception.

In Florida, the Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion is a ballot initiative aiming to amend the state’s constitution and restrict the government from enacting laws regarding abortion “before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health,” as stated in the initiative.

The petition, which garnered more signatures than required, is currently facing a challenge from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. The Florida Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling on this matter by April 1.

In Missouri, the ballot initiative known as the Right to Reproductive Freedom aims to establish the right to reproductive freedom regarding reproductive healthcare, as stated in the petition text. Currently, abortion is completely prohibited in the state with only a few exceptions.

A proposed ballot initiative in Montana aims to solidify the right to make decisions about one’s own pregnancy, including the right to abortion, in the state’s constitution. This initiative, advocated by the group Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights, would also prevent the government from impeding or burdening access to abortion before fetal viability.

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Montanans rejected a measure in 2022 that aimed to limit access to abortion. Additionally, in November 2024, the state will witness a highly anticipated Senate race featuring Democratic incumbent Sen. Jon Tester and Republican candidate Tim Sheehy on the ballot.

In Nebraska, the Protect Our Rights coalition is pushing for the Protect the Right to Abortion initiative. This initiative aims to amend the state constitution and enable abortion to be performed until the point of fetal viability. Presently, abortion is prohibited in Nebraska after the 12-week mark.

Separate efforts to limit abortion access or procedures have been proposed in Nebraska. One such initiative, called the Protect Women and Children initiative, aims to prohibit the majority of abortions after the first trimester. According to Omaha ABC affiliate KETV, this initiative was launched in early March. However, it has not yet been listed by the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Office.

In Nevada, there is a movement led by the Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom Political Action Committee to include a new section in the state’s constitution that recognizes the “fundamental right to reproductive freedom.” The group is currently gathering signatures to initiate a vote on this matter. If the proposed section is added, it would grant the state the authority to regulate abortion after fetal viability, except in cases where a healthcare provider determines that abortion is medically necessary. Currently, Nevada prohibits abortions after 24 weeks.

If the initiative is successful in making it to the ballot and is passed in 2024, another vote would be required in 2026 to amend the state’s constitution.

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In South Dakota, a constitutional amendment is being proposed to ensure access to abortion for the preservation of pregnant women’s life and health. The amendment would prohibit an abortion ban before the end of the first trimester and grant the state the authority to regulate abortion until the end of the second trimester. However, under the proposed amendment, a ban would be permissible at the start of the third trimester.

Where are initiatives undergoing state legislative action?

Proposed constitutional amendments to protect reproductive rights are currently being considered in the state legislatures of Maine and Pennsylvania.

Amendments that deny the constitutional right to abortion are currently being proposed in the legislatures of Iowa and Pennsylvania.

The initiatives in these states must pass through multiple votes by the state legislatures before they have a chance to appear on the general election ballot.

Contributors from ABC News, including Libby Cathey, Hannah Demissie, Nicholas Kerr, Kendall Ross, and Kelsey Walsh, played a role in crafting this report.

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