(WASHINGTON) — Voters in three states have enshrined abortion rights in their constitutions while votes are still being counted in two states to see if access to abortion services will be further restricted.
The power to regulate abortion was returned to the state level in June after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending federal protections for abortion rights.
Heading into the midterm elections Tuesday, three states — California, Michigan and Vermont — had abortion-related questions on the ballot to strengthen rights and two states — Kentucky and Montana — asked voters if they wanted to further limit rights.
During this year’s primary elections, voters in Kansas struck down a proposal to remove the right to abortion from the state’s constitution.
In California, voters decided to amend the state constitution to prohibit the state from denying or interfering with a person’s “reproductive freedom,” ABC News projects.
Voters accepted lawmakers’ proposal to protect the fundamental right to choose to get an abortion or use contraceptives.
Currently, abortion is legal up until viability in California, which is about 24 to 26 weeks gestation, per the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that studies sexual and reproductive rights.
In Vermont, ABC News projects voters decided to amend the state’s constitution to include a right to “personal reproductive autonomy,” which includes abortion.
Although it is currently legal in Vermont at any stage of pregnancy, the state’s constitution did not grant explicit protections for the right to abortion prior to the acceptance of the amendment.
Michigan voters said yes to a constitutional amendment that would add protections for reproductive rights this November, ABC News projects.
The amendment defines reproductive freedom as “the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management and infertility care.”
A state abortion ban on the books since 1931 is being challenged in state courts, but a state judge ruled in September that the ban is unconstitutional, barring the state’s attorney general and state prosecutors from enforcing it.
In Kentucky, ABC News projects that a proposed constitutional amendment further restricting abortion rights has failed.
The amendment to the state’s constitution would have specified the right to abortion does not exist, nor is the government required to allocate funding for abortion.
Abortion is currently banned in the state after a trigger law went into effect when Roe was overturned. Arguments against the ban will soon be heard in the Kentucky Supreme Court, something the amendment would have prevented.
Similarly, results are still incoming for a proposal by the Montana Legislature to change the state constitution to define all fetuses “born alive” as legal persons, including those born after an abortion.
The bill defines “born alive” as the complete expulsion or extraction of a human infant at any stage of development, who after extraction breathes, has a beating heart or has definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut or what the birth method is, according to the bill.
This proposal would grant any fetus born alive the right to appropriate and reasonable medical care and treatment. Providers who do not give that care could face a fine of up to $50,000 and up to 20 years in prison.
Montana state courts have blocked three abortion bans passed last year from going into effect while litigation continues.
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