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Midterm Voters Overwhelmingly Chose To Protect Abortion So Why Do They Still Keep Electing Anti-Abortion Republicans?

Five states had abortion access on their ballots in yesterday’s midterm elections and every one of them voted to protect it.

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In Michigan, the right to abortion and contraception and “all matters relating to pregnancy” has been enshrined in the state constitution.

In California, the state constitution now explicitly protects a person’s “fundamental right to choose to have an abortion.”

Vermont’s constitution now states that “an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”

Kentucky has two abortion bans in place but voters just rejected a proposed amendment that would have said there is no right to abortion or any requirement to fund abortion in their state constitution.

And in Montana, voters defeated a bizarre proposal that would have declared any infant “born alive” is a legal person, with criminal penalties for healthcare professionals who don’t make every effort to save the life of that infant, including those “born during an attempted abortion.”

Voters across the country are making it clear that abortion is an important issue. A midterm election poll conducted by the African American Research Collaborative found that abortion was the second most important issue to voters (just behind inflation/cost of living). Only a quarter of voters said that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade had no impact on their vote. Abortion is proving to be an issue that will drive people to the polls to protect it.

If only we saw that passion for protecting abortion extended to ousting the politicians desperate to rob us of that very right.

Voters in Kentucky rejected a constitutional ban on abortion but overwhelmingly re-elected their staunchly anti-abortion Republican Senator Rand Paul, along with a slew of Republican members of the U.S. House and the state legislature. The Republican candidates in Montana also swept the midterms at every level of office. In Kansas—where abortion was on the ballot in a special election in August—Democratic Governor Laura Kelly was re-elected but Republicans took most other seats. They even elected the impossibly terrible Kris Kobach as Attorney General, despite his recent pledge to “slowly and quietly” strip Kansans of the right to abortion they just turned out in droves to protect.

It is so incredibly heartening to know that people care this much about protecting the right to abortion, and to see it enshrined in a growing number of state constitutions. Now if only voters would stop electing people who desperately want to do everything in their power to rob us of that right, we’d be set.

(image: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)


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Author
Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.