Voters in Alabama and West Virginia stood against abortion on Tuesday in two largely symbolic ballot propositions.
Alabama voters passed a pro-life measure by a vote of 59 percent to 41 percent, according to Ballotpedia. The West Virginia vote was closer, with the measure passing 52 percent to 48 percent.
In both states, voters ensured that their state constitutions deny any right to abortion. That will not have a practical effect now, because the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion supersedes any state measure.
However, if the Roe decision were overturned, as many pro-life advocates hope, the propositions approved Tuesday would be in place to prohibit abortion in those states. President Donald Trump has said he expects a challenge to the Roe decision will arise during his term, but there is no active case before the Supreme Court.
The Alabama legislature had approved its ballot proposition in the spring.
“We want to make sure that at a state level, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, that the Alabama Constitution cannot be used as a mechanism by which to claim that there is a right to abortion,” Republican state Rep. Matt Fridy this summer, according to Fox News.
Alabama’s amendment will “declare and otherwise affirm that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, most importantly the right to life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful; and…provide that the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion,” LifeSite News reported.
“Given the chance to influence abortion policy directly, so far tonight voters have embraced life as West Virginia and Alabama already have weighed in with legal protections,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America
“In a world after Roe, the voters will finally get to decide what abortion policy they support, and in this election, we saw people getting ready for the day in which Roe becomes a footnote in history,” she said.
When West Virginia lawmakers approved that state’s proposition in the spring, the American Civil Liberties Union promised an all-out battle.
West Virginia’s ACLU called the proposition “the most extreme attack on women’s reproductive rights in West Virginia history.”
“Today, we begin an unprecedented eight-month and one day campaign to educate the public on the extreme implications of this radical amendment,” said Joseph Cohen, executive director, according to the West Virginia Gazette Mail.
Wet Virginia’s proposition also banned Medicaid funding for abortions except in the case of rape, incest and when a mother’s life is in danger.
“I believe that that’s something that people who have conscious objection shouldn’t have to pay for,” said Patricia Puertas Rucker, a Republican state senator and sponsor of the proposition.
Oregon also had a similar proposition on the ballot.
Although the totals are incomplete and unofficial, Oregon’s effort to limit Medicaid funding for abortion appeared to be heading to defeat, trailing 64 percent to 36 percent as of Friday morning, according to Ballotpedia.
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