Washington, DC – The United States Supreme Court’s decision today to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate the constitutional right to abortion established nearly 50 years ago means that state-level action is urgently needed to codify abortion rights.
Two active ballot measure campaigns in Michigan and Vermont are the first opportunities for that process. The Fairness Project-supported Michigan campaign, Reproductive Freedom For All, is working to advance a ballot measure to amend the state constitution and affirm every resident has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom. Since early May, more than 30,000 people have signed up to volunteer for the campaign, and there has been a groundswell of support from grassroots donors. The Fairness Project is also supporting a similar ballot measure to amend the state constitution of Vermont, Article 22, which will also go before voters this November.
“The Activists Going State by State To Make Abortion Rights Constitional Law”. Read it in Vanity Fair HERE.
With the demise of Roe, more than 20 states are poised to imminently ban abortion either via “trigger laws,” or by moving forward immediately with new bans — leaving more than 36 million people who can become pregnant without abortion access. The Supreme Court has put Americans’ health at risk by restricting abortion access, and Congress has repeatedly failed to codify Roe into law, including as recently as May of this year. It is essential that people can use democratic tools like ballot measures to preserve the right to safe and legal access to abortion within their state.
In reaction to this, Fairness Project Executive Director Kelly Hall released the following statement:
“Today is a dark day in American history. This decision ends a fundamental right to reproductive freedom that’s existed in America for nearly 50 years and puts lives at immediate risk. Thankfully, there are coalitions around the country who have been preparing for this moment, and who have been charting a path forward in the states. Enshrining reproductive rights in state constitutions with ballot measures will guarantee the protection of reproductive health care for years to come, particularly in states where Republicans control the legislature. Ballot measures give people the power to take matters into their own hands, and they must be a central part of the comprehensive strategy to protect abortion rights and reproductive freedom moving forward. We will continue to fight to overcome partisan games and ensure that everyone has the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures.”
The Supreme Court’s decision to dismantle the constitutional right to abortion, as well as the actions of extremist state legislatures, are in direct contrast with public opinion on the issue of reproductive freedom — meaning that direct democracy and ballot measures are the path forward to ensure voters are heard and their constitutional rights are defended. A Gallup poll found that 80% of the American public think abortion should be legal.