Voters in Alabama and West Virginia voted to approve ballot initatives to establish no constitutional right to public funding for abortions and to abortion access more broadly — even in the case of rape or threat to life of the mother.
The initiatives represent unusual instances where voters themselves and not legislatures voted to make significant changes to state abortion law.
These ballot referendums are part of an overall trend of states reducing access to abortion, sometimes conflicting with the federal right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade.
Most of the focus of the 2018 midterms elections concentrated on hotly-contested Congressional and gubernatorial races, but voters in three states also voted on ballot initatives deciding on whether to reduce access to abortion.
Voters in Alabama and West Virginia voted to approve similar ballot initiatives in the midterm elections to establish no right to publicly-funded abortions, and no guarantee of a right to abortion at all under their states’ respective constitutions — even in cases of rape or danger to life of the mother.
Alabama’s ballot initative, Amendment 2, passed with 60% of the vote. The amendment proclaims to “recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life” in the state. Both Alabama and West Virginia’s amendments codify no right to public funding or even access to abortion at the state level.
A similar measure that sought to ban public funding for abortion in Oregon failed to pass. The two initatives in Alabama and West Virginia represent increasing efforts at the state level to restrict abortion access across the country.
“What we’re looking at is a potential rolling back of federal protections of abortion and the decreasing protections in the Alabama and West Virginia constitutions,” Elizabeth Nash, a senior state issues …read more
Source:: Business Insider