Washington, DC — Kelly Hall, Executive Director of the Fairness Project, recently spoke with The Hill about the importance of investing in a long-term strategy to protect reproductive freedom via ballot measures.
“Ballot measures are not just a tool in the toolbox. I think they will be an increasingly central pathway for moving these conversations forward in states and not just in the abstract … but actually making policy,” Hall told The Hill.
Currently, 22 states and Washington, D.C. allow citizen-initiated ballot measure processes, in which voters can pass legislation themselves. In states where extremist, right-wing legislatures are out of touch with their constituents, ballot measures can be especially effective — especially on issues such as abortion, which 85% of Americans believe should be legal in some or all circumstances.
“That opens up a space for ballot measures to be not just an option, but often the only option, where there’s no way to get middle-ground common sense policies through the usual mechanisms of lawmaking,” Hall said.
The Fairness Project is actively supporting the Reproductive Freedom for All campaign to guarantee reproductive rights in the Michigan state constitution. Additionally, the Fairness Project has also joined the coalition to pass a similar, legislatively-referred amendment in Vermont to affirm the right to an abortion and other forms of reproductive care.
In addition to its work on reproductive rights this election cycle, the Fairness Project is fighting to raise the minimum wage in Nebraska, curb predatory medical debt in Arizona, and expand Medicaid in South Dakota.