Voters in six states, during the midterms general elections, will be able to weigh in directly on a ballot measure centered around reproductive justice. This is a record-breaking number of ballot measures on abortion, proving once again how important women’s rights are to voters throughout the country. Earlier this year, Kansans voted during their primary election to defeat overwhelming a ballot measure that would have permitted the state to ban abortion access. Voters in Kentucky, Montana, Vermont, California, Michigan, and Nevada will be able to follow their lead on November 8th.
Ballot measures in Vermont, California, and Michigan each address amending their state constitutions to provide reproductive freedom and protect access to abortion. Kentucky’s Constitutional Amendment #2, however, would amend Kentucky’s Bill of Rights to declare there is no state constitutional right to abortion and would permit the state legislature with the approval of the government to bans on abortion and, perhaps, even some other forms of family planning.
The Montana Born-Alive Infant Protection Act ballot measure will ask Montanans to vote “yes” or “no” on the following statements: “Infants born alive, including infants born alive after an abortion, are legal persons,” and healthcare providers are required to “take necessary actions to preserve the life of a born-alive infant.” This referendum would mean that physicians will be forced to make decisions out of fear of prison time and fines, rather than acting in the best interest of of their patients and family. Republican State Rep. Matt Regier, said the bill will protect infants that are born alive during so called “botched abortions.” Only one percent of abortions in the US occur after 21 weeks, which is around the time of viability and, according to a CDC study, any cases of live births following an induced abortion involved fetal anomalies or maternal complications. Medical intervention would not have changed the outcome of these situations. The Montana Born-Alive Infant Protection Act gives the state excessive power over physician’s professional decisions and could result in further harm to families already suffering from pregnancy complications.
Lastly, in Nevada, Ballot Question #1 asks voters if a state Equal Rights Amendment should be added to the state constitution. The Nevada ERA would “prohibit the denial or abridgment of rights on account of an individual’s race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry or national origin.” Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, it is more urgent than ever to protect reproductive rights and individual rights. The current Nevada constitution does not clearly prohibit discrimination against groups that have been historically targeted. The inclusion of the state ERA would be a victory in the decades long fight for equality.
Other ballot measures to make note of:
Minimum Wage Measures: Women represent approximately two thirds of workers that earn minimum wage throughout the country. Raising the minimum wage is a vital step in helping working women rise above the poverty level and support themselves and their families.
- Nebraska- Increase the state’s minimum wage incrementally to $15 by 2026
- Nevada- Incrementally increases the minimum wage in Nevada to $12 per hour for all employees by July 1, 2024
Voting Rights: Every citizen has the right to make their voice heard in our democracy, free of restrictions and intimidation tactics.
- Arizona- Requires date of birth and voter identification number for mail-in ballots and eliminates two-document alternative to photo ID for in-person voting
- Connecticut- Allows the legislature to provide for early voting
- Michigan- Make changes to voting policies, including drop boxes, photo ID or signed legal document, nine days of early voting, and absentee voting for every election
- Nebraska- Require a valid photographic identification to vote
- Nevada- Establishes open top-five primaries and ranked-choice voting for general elections
- Ohio- Prohibits local governments from allowing persons who lack the qualifications of an elector to vote in local elections
Ballotpedia, Time, NWLC, MTPR