These 23 states can all amend their constitutions to protect abortion

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Amendments like these can take one of two paths to the ballot. In every state, lawmakers can vote to approve amendments, which then require voters to weigh in before they’re adopted (except in Delaware, where only legislative approval is necessary). That’s how both California and Vermont began the process of passing their new abortion protections. Most Democratic-run legislatures can readily do the same thing, though not all, because some states require supermajorities that Democrats currently lack—and we can be certain Republican legislators won’t help out.

But there’s also another way: In 18 states, voters themselves can place amendments on the ballot by gathering a sufficient number of signatures, the method used by Michigan activists in 2022. Citizen-initiated amendments like these are often even more important, because they can safeguard abortion rights in purple states where they’re under threat and even in red states where Republicans have banned the procedure.

Advocates in Ohio, for instance, have already begun collecting signatures to send an amendment before voters this fall, and there’s good reason to think they’ll be successful. Polling shows that majorities favor abortion access in almost every state, and last year, voters in three conservative states—Kansas, Kentucky, and Montana—all rejected ballot measures that would have curtailed reproductive rights.

Whichever method they use, the vast majority of these states could adopt abortion rights amendments by 2024, though a handful (potentially including Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Nevada) require such measures to be passed twice, so the soonest they could complete the process would be 2026. Either way, with Republicans working furiously to restrict abortion wherever and however they can, the time to act is now.

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By dreamer_live

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