Michigan's abortion ballot results are a pro-choice win.

Michigan's Abortion Ballot Results Are A Major Win

The people have spoken.

by Lilli Petersen and Annie Lin
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Across the United States, abortion rights were on the ballot in the 2022 midterm elections — and I mean that literally. National abortion rights became a (more) prominent election issue following the fall of Roe v. Wade in June of this year, but in some states, the fight for reproductive rights neither started nor stopped with candidates’ promises. In Kentucky, Vermont, California, and Michigan, voters had the opportunity to weigh in directly on reproductive rights through ballot measures on abortion in the 2022 midterms — and in all four states, voters chose to protect abortion rights.

Of all of these, the Michigan ballot measure, called the “Reproductive Freedom for All” initiative or Proposal 3, was closely watched for what it could indicate about middle America’s views on abortion. And the results were decisive — the measure, which adds abortion rights to the state’s constitution. was passed by voters with 55.8% voting for and 44.2% voting against. The new language, which will be effective in the state constitution on Dec. 23, 45 days after Election Day, reads in part: “Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which entails the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.”

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Michigan isn’t the only state to have taken the issue of abortion right to the voters since the Supreme Court ended the national right to an abortion earlier this year, via their decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In August, voters in Kansas rejected a ballot measure that would have removed protections for abortion in the state. And several other states voted to enshrine abortion protections during the 2022 midterms, too: Voters in Kentucky, California, and Vermont all favored ballot measures that would protect abortion access.

In California and Vermont, which already had abortion protections in law, voters chose to add another layer of defense to protect against any future anti-abortion legislation by adding abortion rights to their state constitutions. California’s amendment to protect a person’s reproductive freedom “in their most intimate decisions” received overwhelming support with 65.1% voting for it as of Nov. 9, per The New York Times. Meanwhile, Vermont’s amendment to protect “personal reproductive autonomy unless justified by a compelling State interest” passed with 77% in favor, per NPR.

And in Kentucky, voters rejected an amendment that would have removed protection for abortion rights under the state’s constitution. The rejected proposal asked voters to amend the constitution to say, “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.” As of Nov. 9, 52.6% voted against the amendment, per the Times.

Pro-choice advocates are cheering the results. “Victories in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Vermont, and Montana make it clear that when the issue of abortion is in the hands of the voters themselves, abortion justice wins.” Morgan Hopkins, president of reproductive justice group All* Above All, said in a Nov. 9 statement shared with Elite Daily. “Across the country, voters made it clear that they will not stand for politicians trying to control their lives and decisions. It is undeniable that the issue of abortion access was not only important in this election, but is vital to voters across the country, especially people of color and young people.”

The question of abortion rights apparently really has gone back to the states — and these states are saying abortion rights are here to stay.