San Francisco Chronicle (Sunday)

Which states could have abortion on the ballot in 2024?

- By Andrew DeMillo, Geoff Mulvihill and Kimberlee Kruesi

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Organizers of an effort to scale back Arkansas’ abortion ban said they have more than enough signatures to try to put their proposal before voters in November’s election.

Arkansans for Limited Government submitted petitions said they turned in more than the 90,704 signatures from registered voters needed to qualify. Election officials now must begin checking the validity of the signatures.

The submission brings to five the number of states where election officials are validating signatures on abortion measures. They’re already on the ballot in another five, plus a proposed amendment in New York that would bar discrimina­tion based on “pregnancy outcomes.”

Supporters of other abortion measures in Arizona and Nebraska submitted petitions in their respective states on Wednesday.

The fate of the measures could reshape or confirm the trendlines that have developed in the two years since the U.S. Supreme Court removed the nationwide right to abortion.

Since the ruling, most Republican-controlled states have new abortion restrictio­ns in effect, including 14 that ban it at every stage of pregnancy. Most Democratic-led

states have laws or executive orders to protect access.

Voters in all seven states that have had abortion questions before voters since 2022 have sided with abortion rights supporters, including California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Ohio and Vermont.

Here’s a look at the abortion measures that could be on ballots in November:

Colorado

Colorado’s top election official confirmed in May that a measure to enshrine abortion protection­s in the state constituti­on, including requiremen­ts that Medicaid and private health insurers cover it, made the ballot for the fall election.

Florida

The state Supreme Court ruled in April that a ballot measure to legalize abortion until fetal viability could go on the ballot despite a legal challenge from state Attorney General Ashley Moody, who argued there are differing views on the meaning of “viability” and that some key terms in the proposed measure are not properly defined.

Maryland

Voters also will be asked this year to enshrine the right to abortion in Maryland’s constituti­on. The state already protects the right to abortion under state law and Democrats outnumber Republican­s 2-1. Abortion is allowed in Maryland until viability.

Nevada

The Nevada Secretary of State’s office announced in June that a ballot question to enshrine abortion rights in the state constituti­on has met all of the requiremen­ts to appear in front of voters in November.

Under the amendment, abortion access for the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, or later to protect the health of the pregnant person, would be enshrined. Such access already is ensured under a 1990 law.

South Dakota

South Dakota voters will vote this fall on a measure to ban any restrictio­ns on abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy. It would allow the state, in the second trimester, to “regulate the

pregnant woman’s abortion decision and its effectuati­on only in ways that are reasonably related to the physical health of the pregnant woman.”

An abortion ban would be allowed in the third trimester, as long as it included exceptions for the life and health of the woman.

Other possibilit­ies

Arizona: Abortion rights supporters submitted more than 823,000 signatures on Wednesday to put an abortion access measure before voters in November. That’s more than twice as many as required. Election officials still need to verify the signatures. Under the measure, the state would not be able to ban abortion until the fetus is viable, with later abortions allowed to protect a woman’s physical or mental health.

Missouri: Abortion rights advocates turned in more than 380,000 signatures, more than twice the required 171,000, for a measure asking voters to approve a constituti­onal amendment to guarantee abortion until viability. Local election officials have until July 30 to verify the signatures, then it’s up to the secretary of state to declare whether there were enough.

Montana: Abortion rights proponents in Montana have proposed a constituti­onal amendment that would bar the government from denying the right to abortion before viability or when it’s necessary to protect the life or health of the pregnant person. After a legal battle over the ballot language, the Montana Supreme Court in April wrote its version that would appear on the ballot if enough valid signatures are certified. Sponsors turned in nearly twice the required number of signatures, which counties have until July 19 to verify.

Nebraska: Competing abortion measures could come before voters in November after supporters of each said Wednesday they turned in far more signatures than the 123,000 required for ballot access. One would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constituti­on until viability. The other would write into the constituti­on the current law, which bars abortions after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions.

 ?? Andrew DeMillo/Associated Press ?? A proposed ballot measure to scale back Arkansas’ abortion ban draws a crowd Friday at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark.
Andrew DeMillo/Associated Press A proposed ballot measure to scale back Arkansas’ abortion ban draws a crowd Friday at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark.

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