Laws in 10 pro-life states that protect 30,000 lives annually are being targeted by activists who are attempting to put a right to unlimited abortion on more ballots. The ballot measures are extreme across the board. Though some of the measures include the word “viability,” the broad loopholes in the proposals ultimately allow elective abortion in all nine months. The measures also implicate parental rights laws and eliminate health and safety protections for women. Abortions won’t need to be performed by doctors and abortion facilities won’t need to be near hospitals or have hospital admitting privileges, putting women at serious risk.
For 2024, the greatest threats exist in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
The Arizona ballot measure is everything Katie Hobbs could hope for. The pro-abortion governor, who vetoed a born-alive protection last year and then this month called for eliminating data reporting on abortions, signed a petition last November to put unlimited abortion in the constitution.
A well-organized pro-life coalition is pushing back. The It Goes Too Far campaign launched this month exposing just how extreme the measure is. In a press release announcing the group’s formation, campaign manager Leisa Brug said, “Arizona abortion laws should protect girls and women, not put them at greater risk . . . safety precautions designed to avoid complications or save a girl’s life in case of complications, and other reasonable measures would be forbidden and unenforceable.”
Abortion activists in Arkansas were dealt a blow with the release of an analysis from Attorney General Tim Griffin requiring them to go back to the drawing board. The first attempt at Arkansas’ abortion ballot measure, according to AG Griffin, had a deceptive title and was riddled with misleading text. An unclear health exception, using the term “reproductive health care” instead of “abortion,” and misleading voters on the gestational age of babies who can be aborted under the constitutional amendment were among the problems cited by the attorney general in his letter.
The attorney general this week certified the revised language for the constitutional amendment. Activists only need 90,000 signatures for the measure to appear on the ballot.
In Florida, Mona Reis, owner of a large abortion facility, is behind the push for a radical ballot measure. She as well as a number of abortionists and those who collect a paycheck from Planned Parenthood are helping fund the constitutional amendment that would allow elective abortions until birth. Though 62% of Floridians (including 61% of Independents and 58% of women) support the heartbeat law, paid signature gatherers have obtained one million signatures for the abortion measure.
A major problem exists for Florida abortion activists, however. Their measure violates the state’s single-subject requirement for amendments on the ballot. This issue and the measure’s use of deceptive language is being raised by Attorney General Ashley Moody who will be in front of the Florida Supreme Court on February 7 for oral arguments. Moody has called out the proposed abortion amendment as one of the worst she has seen in terms of language that misleads voters and questions why the sponsor did not provide clarity on when the right to abortion ends. In her brief, she writes, “The ballot summary here is part of a … design to lay ticking time bombs that will enable abortion proponents later to argue that the amendment has a much broader meaning than voters would ever have thought.”
Abortion activists proposed 17 separate ballot measures in Missouri to eliminate the state’s protections for unborn life. Planned Parenthood initially said it would only back one of the proposals – the one that was the most explicit about not allowing parents to have a say and allowing abortion in all nine months without the world “viability.” After an organized pro-life coalition launched in mid-January, Planned Parenthood and abortion activists said they would rally around one specific proposal. Though language in the selected ballot measure is intended to appear as codifying Roe, the loopholes are so broad in the amendment that non-emergency abortions will be allowed until the moment of birth.
Stephanie Bell, spokeswoman for Missouri Stands With Women, says, “Out-of-state extremists pushing Big Abortion’s agenda are intent on using the initiative petition process to reverse all of the pro-life work our state has undertaken to protect the dignity of life, safety of women, and parental rights. We are united in our efforts to ensure these out-of-state extremists are not allowed to tear the fabric of our constitution by placing unregulated, taxpayer-funded abortions up to the moment of birth, effectively overriding all Missouri’s pro-life laws.”
Attorney General Austin Knudsen has blocked abortion activists’ unconstitutional efforts to put unlimited abortion on the ballot. In a memo, AG Knudsen outlined how the proposed Ballot Measure #14 violates Montana’s constitution by logrolling multiple choices into one initiative and precluding Montanans from passing future regulations on abortion: “First, voters’ views on abortion change dramatically based on the specific timeframe of pregnancy in which the abortion occurs. Second, states commonly treat physical and psychological conditions differently. States also commonly use qualifying language to clarify when an abortion is medically necessary. Ballot Measure 14 creates an express right to abortion but denies voters the ability to express their views on the nuance of the right.”
Knudsen’s work to protect Montanans from the deceptive ballot measure is being challenged by the abortion lobby and will likely be decided by the state’s Supreme Court.
Nebraska’s law currently allows abortion throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, but that isn’t enough for the abortion industry and activists who are trying to write second- and third-trimester abortions into the constitution. In November, abortion activists announced their ballot measure to allow abortion until the moment of birth through language related to “viability” and “health.”
Activists are still in the signature gathering phase but will have to contend with the reality that protecting the unborn against abortions in the second and third trimesters is incredibly popular in Nebraska and nationwide. At 12 weeks, a baby’s major organs have formed and his or her heart has beat over 10 million times. You can find out whether the baby is a boy or girl by 12 weeks, start to see if they resemble mom or dad, and you’ll see the baby suck their thumb on an ultrasound.
According to Rick Weiland, leader of the pro-abortion group “Dakotans for Health,” South Dakota is a “test case” for just how much abortion activists can get away with in a red state. Fortunately, Weiland’s test case isn’t going well so far. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are not supporting the effort due to infighting with Dakotans for Health and because they think the legislature would still be able to exclude minors from an unlimited right to an abortion. Thanks to Planned Parenthood and the ACLU contributing zero dollars to this race, there is new polling that shows the majority of South Dakota women oppose the ballot measure.
Additionally, Weiland’s group of paid signature gatherers have been admonished by the attorney general for breaking the law by deceiving voters into signing petitions. Attorney General Marty Jackley said, “Any suggestion that your proposed abortion amendment makes abortion legal only for the first trimester is contrary to the language of the proposed amendment.”
In all three of these states, abortion ballot measures have been threatened but have yet to materialize. In Idaho specifically, abortion activists are engaged in a PR campaign to mislead Idahoans, attempting to pin rural health care access problems on the state’s pro-life law and imply women cannot receive emergency care when pregnant.