Do voters ever get a direct say on questions related to a woman's right to choose? In many states, the answer is yes. Anti-choice groups often try to put measures on the ballot. If these measures qualify, they appear as questions that go directly before voters.
Upcoming Ballot Measures
Colorado "Personhood" Measure
In 2014, Colorado voters will once again vote on an anti-choice, anti-birth control "personhood" measure. It would amend the state's constitution to change the definition of person and child to include "unborn human beings" under the state's criminal code. This measure would have a far-reaching impact and insert the government, lawyers and the courts into Colorado women's personal lives.
North Dakota "Personhood" Measure
In November, North Dakotans will vote on a personhood amendment that would define life as beginning at conception. Should this measure pass, it would effectively ban abortion in almost all cases, outlaw some of the most common forms of birth control, restrict fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilization, and forbid stem-cell research. While "personhood" proposals have appeared on the ballot in several states, they have all failed
Tennessee Anti-Choice Constitutional Amendment
Voters in Tennessee will vote on a measure that would repeal a woman’s right to privacy and significantly expand the power of elected officials in the state to restrict abortion rights. If the measure passes, the legislature would have the power to repeal any measure that protects abortion rights. That's not all. If Roe v. Wade were ever overturned, the Tennessee Supreme Court would have no authority to keep abortion legal in the state.
Previous Ballot Measures
Albuquerque Ban on Later Abortion
Pro-choice voters in Albuquerque, NM, came together to defeat the 20-week abortion ban ballot measure in their city. Anti-choice extremists aligned with Operation Rescue were pushing the dangerous abortion ban measure, the first of its kind at the municipal level.
Montana LR 120
Unfortunately, Montana voters approved an anti-choice parental-notification mandate. LR 120 will require physicians to give 48 hours’ notice to a young woman’s parent before she can access abortion services. This measure is so extreme that it provides no exception for rape or incest, which could put some young women in serious danger. We will continue to work with NARAL Pro-Choice Montana to support young women in the state and ensure their access to family-planning services and abortion care.
Florida Amendment 6
In 2012, voters in Florida rejected an amendment that would have eliminated protections in Florida's constitution that guarantee women the right to privacy. Florida voters also voted on a vague and far-reaching measure that could allow employers to deny their employees basic health-insurance coverage.
North Dakota Measure 3
On June 12, 2012, North Dakota voters rejected Measure 3. The initiative was officially called the "Religious Liberties Restoration Amendment," but it was so broad that it could have allowed anybody to do (or refuse to do) just about anything as long as they claimed to be motivated by a "sincerely held religious belief."