Republican Kentucky, swing state Michigan vote to uphold legal abortion

© Ryan Sun, AP

Voters in reliably red Kentucky rejected a ballot measure aimed at denying any state constitutional protections for abortion while voters in battleground Michigan enshrined abortion rights in their state's constitution — joining Democratic California and Vermont in taking that step.

The Kentucky result bucked the state’s Republican-led Legislature, which had imposed a near-total ban on the procedure and put the proposed state constitutional amendment on the ballot. It also mirrored what happened in another red state, Kansas, where voters in August rejected changing that state’s constitution to let lawmakers tighten restrictions or ban abortions.

The Tuesday ballot measures came months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion it guaranteed to women nationwide. The decision in June has led to near-total bans in a dozen states.

Supporters of the push to protect abortion rights in Michigan collected more signatures than any other ballot initiative in state history to get it before the voters. It puts a definitive end to a 1931 ban on abortion that had been blocked in court but could have been revived. It also affirms the right to make pregnancy-related decisions about abortion and other reproductive services such as birth control without interference.

“There’s a lot of energy for Prop 3 on campus right now, whether you agree with abortion or not,” Roberts said. “I think students want to have the same rights that their parents had when they were younger.”


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