Abortion Rights Protections on November Ballots in 2 States

California, Vermont will have amendments to state constitutions put to public vote in midterms
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2022 10:30 AM CDT
States Rush to Add Abortion Rights to Their Constitutions
Abortion-rights activists hold a rally in downtown Los Angeles on Monday.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

With so-called "trigger laws" on abortion bans starting to kick in across the nation, some states are going on the offensive to protect access to the procedure. ABC30 reports that the California Assembly on Monday gave the green light to an amendment to the state's constitution, which will protect both legal access to abortions and contraception—an amendment that "will ensure that no court case, no federal law can supersede" it, Assembly member Buffy Wicks notes. There's already a right to health care privacy baked into the state's constitution, but the Assembly wanted to more clearly spell out that abortion and birth control rights are part of that.

Voters in the state will still have the final say on passing the amendment, as it's now on the ballot for November. Per the Washington Post, the Assembly has a Democratic supermajority, and the measure doesn't need the signature of Gov. Gavin Newsom (who does support it) to pass. And it seems like Californians may indeed support the measure, as a poll from last year showed upward of three-quarters of the adult population were against overturning Roe v. Wade.

California has been at the forefront of aggressively pushing back at the SCOTUS decision, including Newsom last week signing a law that offers protection for abortion providers offering their services to people from other states. California's budget for 2023 also includes more than $200 million to expand reproductive health services, including funds to help pay for travel, accommodations, and child care for Californians seeking an abortion. The Guardian notes Vermont will have a similar constitutional amendment up for a November vote in the wake of last week's Supreme Court decision. In Vermont's case, the word "abortion" isn't referenced—instead, "personal reproductive autonomy" is. (More abortion rights stories.)

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