California, Maine, New York, and Colorado Join the List of States Working to Protect Abortion Access Through Ballot Measures
For Immediate Release
May 10, 2022
Caroline Sánchez Avakian, [email protected]
Britton Lee, [email protected]
Washington, D.C. — Following last week’s leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that signaled a willingness of the Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey decisions, state legislatures are turning to the century-old democratic process of ballot initiatives to ensure that the people’s right to choose is protected, regardless of what happens in June.
Despite anti-choice lawmakers’ efforts, ballot initiatives have the potential to secure reproductive freedom. Since 1970, with the protections of Roe in place, there have been only five proactive ballot measures seeking to enshrine reproductive freedom in state constitutions — three of which were passed by voters. Within the past few weeks, this trend has accelerated at unprecedented levels. Last week alone, five states joined the movement to codify reproductive liberties at the state level.
So far, states actively working to codify the right to an abortion in their state constitution include Vermont (on ballot), Michigan (gathering signatures), California, Maine, New York, Colorado, and Ohio. In states like Kansas, where an anti-choice amendment will be on the ballot in 2022, statewide campaigns encouraging voters to protect reproductive freedom are underway.
Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Executive Director Chris Melody Fields Figueredo issued the following statement:
“As our country continues to reel from the effects of last week’s leaked Supreme Court opinion draft, we have seen an exponential increase in states working to secure the right to access abortion services at the state level.
At the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, we stand on the side of reproductive rights, health, and freedom. We will keep fighting back — against those seeking to restrict abortion access, and against all other attempts to silence our voices and our People.”