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Abortion rights advocates claim victory in 5 races across US

Abortion North Dakota
Posted at 10:03 AM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-11 10:03:01-05

Five states held referendums on abortion rights, with three states looking to codify abortion rights while two states sought to curtail abortions.

In all five states, voters sided with abortion rights.

Voters in California, Michigan and Vermont approved measures that are backed by supporters of abortion rights while a bill in Kentucky supported by proponents of abortion restrictions lost.

Another bill pushed by abortion opponents in Montana was projected on Thursday to lose.

Abortion rights advocates celebrated the victories.

"And, of course, everywhere I went, we brought together people fighting for reproductive freedom people everywhere from every background," Vice President Kamala Harris said. "Because here's the thing one does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling a woman what to do with her body."

Those against abortion rights vowed to try again.

Voters in California approved Proposition 1. It asked whether they want to include existing rights to reproductive freedom—such as the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion and use contraceptives in the state's constitution.

Voters in Vermont approved Article 22. Similar to the California proposal, voters decided to protect the right to an abortion.

The following sentence will be added to the Vermont constitution:

"That an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means."

Michigan voters accepted Proposal 3, which gives individuals the right to have an abortion. It also prevents the state from taking action against someone who sought an abortion. Someone who assisted that person will also be protected.

While those three measures won by wide margins, two bills supported by abortion opponents lost.

Voters in Kentucky voted against adding a line to the constitution that states abortions are not protected in the state. "To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion," the amendment says.

LR-131 in Montana would have imposed criminal penalties on healthcare providers who do not provide "appropriate" medical care to infants "born alive" after abortion. Medical providers would have reportedly faced up to $50,000 in fines and 20 years in prison for violating the law.