Access to abortion to be a voting issue in the 2024 elections.

States Continue to Battle Over Abortion Access: What You Need to Know

As the fight for abortion access continues at the state level, several states are pursuing ballot measures that would either enshrine abortion rights in state constitutions or implement restrictions. This comes after the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which eliminated the national right to abortion and led to stricter laws in more than 20 states.

So far, six states have voted on abortion access measures, with all of them moving to protect abortion rights. These states include California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Vermont. However, the battle is far from over, as more states are now trying to ensure abortion access through ballot measures.

Here’s a breakdown of the states currently pursuing abortion measures and what they could mean for the future of abortion access:

Arizona

Currently, abortion is legal in Arizona until 15 weeks of pregnancy, with restrictions. Abortions on the basis of race, sex, or genetic abnormality are prohibited. Abortion access proponents are collecting signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would ensure the right to an abortion until viability. They must collect 383,923 signatures by early July and have already reached 250,000 as of mid-January.

Arkansas

Abortion is currently prohibited in Arkansas, with exceptions only to save the life of the mother. Abortion rights advocates are trying to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would ensure the right to an abortion up to 18 weeks of pregnancy, with no prohibitions on the procedure in cases of fetal anomaly, rape, incest, or if the woman’s health could be impacted. Organizers are trying to collect 90,704 signatures by the July 5 deadline.

Colorado

Abortion is currently legal in Colorado, and a state constitutional amendment would prevent the government from taking away the right or disallowing health insurance coverage for abortions. To qualify for the ballot, 124,238 signatures are required, as well as “2% of the total registered electors in each of the 35 Colorado state senate districts,” according to the Colorado secretary of state’s office.

Florida

Florida used to allow abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, but it passed a 15-week ban in 2022, and last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an even more restrictive six-week ban into law. However, the 15-week ban has been challenged in the courts, and the Florida Supreme Court is still deciding whether the state’s right to privacy applies to abortion. If it upholds the 15-week ban, the six-week ban would go into effect soon afterward. A proposed constitutional amendment would ensure the right to an abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, with no restrictions. Supporters must collect 891,589 signatures by February 1, 2024, to get it on the ballot.

Ohio

Ohio currently has a 20-week abortion ban, but a proposed constitutional amendment would ensure the right to an abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, with no restrictions. Supporters must collect 442,958 signatures by July 6, 2024, to get it on the ballot.

Texas

Texas has some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, including a six-week ban and a ban on abortions after 20 weeks in cases of fetal abnormality. A proposed constitutional amendment would ensure the right to an abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, with no restrictions. Supporters must collect 1,000,000 signatures by May 9, 2024, to get it on the ballot.

The fight for abortion access is ongoing, and these ballot measures could have a significant impact on the future of reproductive rights in these states. Stay informed and make your voice heard by staying up to date on these developments and supporting organizations that advocate for abortion access.  

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