Abortion activists are looking to 2024 to continue their winning streak

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Ohio college students organized for Issue 1

As Ohio becomes the seventh state in a row to protect reproductive rights, abortion activists are already preparing for a major challenge in 2024 — putting abortion rights back on the ballot. Organizers in at least nine states are working to continue this momentum and enshrine abortion protections in state constitutions. Potential states include Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri, Nevada, Arizona, Maryland, New York, Colorado and Florida.

Of course, it will be easier said than done.

Just last week, a judge in Nevada rejected a proposed ballot initiative on abortion rights, calling it too broad and misleading. The petition's language described a “fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” including prenatal care, childbirth, postnatal care, birth control, vasectomy, tubal ligation, abortion, and abortion care. Judge James T. Russell told KOLO-TV Reno that the ballot initiative covered “too many issues.” Not all of these are functionally related.” The pro-abortion group Nevadans for Reproductive Rights, which is leading the effort, is expected to appeal the decision to the Nevada Supreme Court. Nevada voted overwhelmingly in 1990 to guarantee the right to an abortion up to 24 weeks.

However, activists are optimistic about their prospects in Arizona, Maryland, New York and Colorado. Arizona for Abortion Access is in the process of collecting the necessary signatures from registered voters for their referendum and is currently exceeding their monthly goals. Since the state legislatures of Maryland and New York are solidly controlled by Democrats, the measures will be on the ballot in November. And Colorado is expected to follow suit.

A Lake Research Partners poll conducted last year by Ms. magazine and the Feminist Majority Foundation found that 55% of young women voters in battleground states say abortion and women's rights together are the most important issues that will determine their vote. The overturn of Roe has spurred abortion rights advocates to make their voices heard at the ballot box, and 2024 will be no different.

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