The Supreme Court’s June decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade and left the issue of abortion rights to the states, has led to votes this fall in several states.

Three states are asking voters whether they want to establish a right to abortion, while one state is asking whether its constitution should be changed to say there is no such right to abortion or to require public funding.

In August, Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed lawmakers to tighten abortion laws or ban the procedure altogether, the first such test since the High Court’s decision.

Let’s take a closer look at what voters will decide when the polls close on November 8:


California, Michigan and Vermont are considering amending their state constitutions to establish some form of abortion rights.

Kentucky is asking voters whether to amend the state constitution to say it does not protect abortion rights.

Montana is asking voters whether babies born alive after attempted abortions should receive medical care and treatment.


The ballot measure comes after the Supreme Court ruled in June that the US Constitution does not grant a right to abortion and that “the power to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.”

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott suggested in a statement this summer that the issue had taken on new urgency after the court decision.

“It’s more important than ever to make sure women in our state have the right to make decisions about their health, their bodies and their futures,” he said.

Kentucky moved to tighten abortion restrictions after the GOP took control of the legislature in 2016, and the Republican-controlled Montana legislature passed legislation putting the issue to voters before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this summer .

Kentucky’s Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case that overturned the state’s near-total abortion ban after the November election, but has kept the ban in place while the case is pending.

Abortion is currently legal in Vermont, with no restrictions on gestational age. California and Michigan allow abortions before viability, which is usually defined as around 24 weeks. Montana also restricts abortions after they become viable, but the court stayed a measure banning the procedure after a 20-week wait for a trial.


State legislatures and courts have changed the status of abortion laws in the United States.

Bans apply at all stages of pregnancy in a dozen states.

In Wisconsin, clinics have stopped performing abortions, although there is controversy over whether the ban is in effect.

In Georgia, abortions are prohibited when cardiac activity is detected – usually around six weeks and often before women know they are pregnant.

Seven states, including the District of Columbia, do not limit abortion to the term of pregnancy at all.


Mike Catalini can be reached at


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