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Abortion by voting?If These Republican Lawmakers Can Help It Not

Congress of Arkansas, florida, Idaho, Missouri, north dakota, Ohio and Oklahoma This session will raise submission fees, increase the number of signatures required for a ballot, limit who can collect signatures, mandate a wider geographic distribution of signatures, and vote to pass amendments from a majority. We are discussing a bill to raise the standards. Overwhelming majority. Although the wording of the bills varies, the impact is the same. Limiting the power of voters to override Republican-imposed abortion restrictions.This came into effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wadlast year.

After seeing pro-abortion sides win all six abortion-related ballot initiative battles in 2022, including conservative states such as Kansas and Kentucky, conservatives fear and avoid repetition. are mobilizing to

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America’s state public affairs director, Kelsey Pritchard, said the ballot initiative will fight over abortion for the next two years. “We take these ballot measures, often very radical and far beyond anything, very seriously. egg I never did.

In Mississippi, where a court order has frozen all voting activity in 2021, Republicans advance legislation It restores the mechanism, but prohibits voters from putting abortion-related measures on the ballot.

“I think this is just a continuation of the policy of Mississippi and state leaders to be a life-saving state,” said a Mississippi lawmaker. Nick Bain.

But in most states, Republican proposals to tighten restrictions on ballot initiatives do not explicitly target abortion. The move to change the rules Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade June 2022Spurred by progressive efforts to legalize marijuana, expand Medicaid, and raise the minimum wage in several red states, new lawmakers have emerged in the past year as voters and elected officials clashed over abortion policy. reached great heights.

Still, some anti-abortion activists worry the trend is backfiring and preventing groups from using this tactic to pass their own constitutional amendments in the popular vote.

“In Florida, it’s a double-edged sword,” said Andrew Shirvell, leader of the group Florida Voice for the Unborn, which is working to take action against abortion on the 2024 ballot. because pro-life grassroots advocates who feel our Governor and Congress have let us down on this issue for too long and want to take things into our own hands because there is a large contingent of

left interest Using voting initiatives It surged in the wake of the 2022 midterm elections to protect or expand access to abortion. Efforts are already underway in Missouri, Ohio and South Dakota to insert language restoring abortion rights into their constitutions, and advocates in several other states are weighing their options.

The campaign is most advanced in Ohio, where abortion rights advocates began collecting signatures this week. A coalition of anti-abortion groups called Protect Women Ohio formed in response, and this week she announced a $5 million ad buy to air a 30-second spot. health care kids.

At the same time, some Ohio legislators are pushing for suggestions This raises the voter approval threshold for constitutional amendments from a simple majority to 60%.

In Missouri, a progressive group submitted several versions of the Abortion Rights Vote Initiative to state officials for review, but lawmakers likewise Measurement suggestion It imposes a supermajority vote requirement, requiring that the bill be passed by more than half of the Missouri congressional districts for it to take effect.

“It’s important to give everyone a voice, including in central Missouri,” said Susan Klein, executive director of Right to Life, Missouri. We knew it would spread and eventually reach Missouri, and we’ve worked hard to prepare for this challenge, and we’re ready.”

Idaho legislator Trying to Supporters of the initiative petition must collect signatures from 6% of registered voters to be eligible to vote.

“I call these bills ‘death by julienne,'” said Kelly Hall, executive director of the progressive voting initiative group The Fairness Project. “Each of these individually doesn’t sound like much, but taken together they have an exclusive impact on people’s participation in democracy.”

Conservative lawmakers and supporters pushing for rule changes say the rule changes reflect their beliefs about how laws should be made, and not just about abortion. Enacted last year.

North Dakota senator says, “Although abortion didn’t start this, Planned Parenthood is actively working to get the lack of protection for the unborn baby into the constitution.” . Jeanne Myrdal, head of the Pro-Life Caucus of the State Council. “If you sit in California, New York, or Washington, throw darts, and put millions of dollars on it, you can change our constitution.”

of Hosted by Resolution MyrdalThe bill, which passed the Senate last month and is awaiting a vote in the House, would require constitutional amendments to pass through two primary and general elections, raising the signature requirement from 4% to 5% of the population. . If approved, the proposed change will appear on the state’s 2024 ballot.

Major national anti-abortion groups say they don’t formally endorse these efforts, but rather the Republican lawmakers behind them.

Carol Tobias, chairman of the National Right to Live Commission, said, “If the whim of our culture can change the constitution, it will start to lose its importance.”

Even states that have not yet taken steps to put an abortion rights bill on the ballot have taken surprising legislative action out of conservative fears about such a move.

In Oklahoma, anti-abortion leader Rowinger tells lawmakers that polls show overwhelming support for exceptions to rape and incest — As one MP suggested The bill, which passed its first commission last month, saw overwhelming opposition to leaving the state ban in place.

He said he wouldn’t support the exception if the state didn’t have a ballot measure process. But as long as the threat exists, he argued, “we must not allow the perfect to be the enemy of good.”

“The abortion industry has the arsenal to defeat what we see as ideal policies,” Lauinger told lawmakers. “Initiative petitions are their trump card.”

Loinger did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But his organization’s parent group, National Rights to Life, said he would rather POLITICO make exceptions for rape and incest than risk a broader ballot initiative to include abortion rights in state constitutions. said he supported his claim that

“This is not a betrayal,” Tobias insisted. “If we take seriously what we are facing, we could save him 95% of all babies or lose them all and all babies die. It’s kind of hard not to see the reality.” is.”

But supporters of both sides of the abortion struggle stress that the ballot initiative struggle in Oklahoma is still possible, whether or not the state approves exceptions for rape and incest.

“Whatever we do, they’re probably going to try to do it anyway,” said an Oklahoma lawmaker. We have launched an effort to void the exception bill. “The battle has not yet come and we are already retreating.”

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