The Story: There are more ballot measures addressing abortion in 2022 than in any other year in American history. Here’s where abortion will be on the ballot next month.
The Background: For elections in 2022, 137 statewide ballot measures are certified for the ballot in 37 states. Five states have ballot initiatives related to abortion that will be voted on on November 8, 2022.
On Proposition 1, a “yes” vote supports amending the state constitution to prohibit the state from interfering with or denying an individual’s reproductive freedom, which is defined to include a right to an abortion and a right to contraceptives.
A pro-life Christian should vote “no” on this measure since it prohibits the residents in California from putting any limitations on abortion.
A “yes” vote on Amendment 2 supports amending the Kentucky Constitution to state that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion.
A pro-life Christian should vote “yes” on this measure since it prohibits Kentucky courts from interpreting the state constitution in a way that requires protecting abortion or state funding for abortion.
A “yes” vote on Michigan Proposal 3, the Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative, would support providing a state constitutional right to “reproductive freedom, which is defined as ‘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.’”
A pro-life Christian should vote “no” on this measure since it would prohibit state lawmakers from putting any type of restrictions on abortion. Currently in Michigan, abortion is legal prior to fetal viability. After viability, an abortion can only be performed to preserve the life of the mother.
A “yes” vote on Montana LR-131, the Medical Care Requirements for Born-Alive Infants Measure, supports this ballot measure to “state that infants born alive at any stage of development are legal persons; require medical care to be provided to infants born alive after an induced labor, cesarean section, attempted abortion, or another method; and establish a $50,000 fine and/or 20 years in prison as the maximum penalty for violating the law.”
A pro-life Christian should vote “yes” on this measure since it would require infants that are born alive to receive medical care. Eighteen other states currently have a similar requirement.
A “yes” vote on Vermont Proposal 5, the Right to Personal Reproductive Autonomy Amendment, supports amending the Vermont Constitution to add language protecting the right to “personal reproductive autonomy” and prohibiting government infringement unless justified by a compelling state interest.
A pro-life Christian should vote “no” on this measure since it would further codify protections for abortion in the state and could be interpreted by state courts to require state funding for abortions, gender transformation surgery, sterilizations (even of minors), and a range of other “reproductive” procedures.
A ballot initiative in Kansas was voted on in August that would have amended the Kansas Constitution to declare that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding of abortions. It would also have said the state legislature has the power to pass laws regarding abortion. That amendment was rejected by a margin of 59 to 41 percent.
Additionally, nine other abortion-related measures were proposed for 2022 but didn’t make the ballot:
1. Arizona Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative
2. Colorado Abortion Ban Initiative
3. Florida Abortion Ban After Detectable Heartbeat Initiative
4. Maryland Authorizing Health Practitioners to Perform Abortions Referendum
5. Maryland Right to Reproductive Liberty Amendment
6. Massachusetts No Right to Public Funding for Abortion Initiative
7. Nevada Parental Notification for Minor’s Abortion Initiative
8. Oklahoma Establish Rights of Unborn Persons Amendment
9. Oklahoma No Right to Abortion in Constitution Amendment
What It Means: The overturning of Roe v. Wade was one of the most significant acts of justice in modern history. It was the right decision and one that every pro-life Christian should be thankful for—even if it made our work more complicated.
In its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court said “the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.” That’s where we are today. Regulation of abortion has moved from the federal level to the state level. Five states will be addressing the issue this election, and over the next few years we can expect to see nearly two dozen additional ballot measures.
The problem this poses for the pro-life movement is that support for our cause isn’t equally distributed throughout the United States. Currently, there are only 14 states in which a majority of citizens believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. More than half of those states are in the South (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas), while most of the others are in the Midwest (Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota). The only states near the East and West Coasts with pro-life majorities are Utah and West Virginia.
Kentucky is the only state with a ballot initiative that also has a pro-life majority and is thus the only one likely to pass in a way pro-life Christians would support. This doesn’t mean we should concede defeat, of course. We have a month to pray and labor—pray the citizens of each state will vote to uphold justice for the unborn and labor to persuade our neighbors in those states to protect life in the womb.
We may indeed lose these votes, just as we did in Kansas. But as pro-life Christians in America have learned over the past 50 years, the struggle to protect life is measured in decades, not days. We will continue to seek justice as long as it takes to ensure that every child is protected in every state across our land.