Ten states may have anti-abortion initiatives and five may have anti-affirmative action initiatives on the November state ballots. Women's and civil rights groups are gearing up to fight these initiatives.
Currently, anti-abortion extremists are circulating petitions to add more anti-abortion constitutional amendments on the ballots in Colorado, Montana, and possibly Georgia, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Oregon. These so-called "personhood initiatives" declare that a fertilized egg is a "person" who enjoys "inalienable rights, equality of justice, and due process of the law." These measures threaten not only abortion itself, but IUDs, emergency contraception, and in vitro fertilization clinics.
In Missouri, a new group called "Stop Forced Abortions" is gathering signatures for a measure that would address what they claim are the long-term physical, psychological and emotional problems caused by abortion. The ballot initiative would require doctors to extensively review any so-called medical literature on abortion and investigate each patient's background and lifestyle. It also would require doctors to certify that the abortion was necessary to avoid a woman's death or prevent permanent disability. The proposal would subject doctors to lawsuits from women who later regretted their decision to terminate a pregnancy, and would offer no exception whatsoever for the victims of rape or incest.
In California and South Dakota, extremists are working to once again place anti-abortion initiatives on their ballots. We defeated these efforts in 2006, but antis are pushing the CA parental notification initiative and the SD abortion ban (with only minor modifications) forward.
Affirmative action opponent Ward Connerly is leading efforts to qualify ballot measures in five states (MO, CO, AZ, NE, and OK) that would ban affirmative action for women and people of color in public education, public employment, and public contracting. An identical measure was approved in CA in 1996 and it is wrecking havoc on educational opportunities for African American and Latinos, as well as dramatically reducing opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses to win state contracts.
10/17/2014 Student Activists Across the Country Are Fighting Extreme Anti-Abortion Ballot Measures - In Tennessee, North Dakota, and Colorado - three states deciding ballot measures aimed at restricting birth control access and outlawing abortion in the upcoming election - student activists are mobilizing to get out the vote.
Members of student-ledFeminist Majority Leadership Alliancegroup Vanderbilt Feminists at Vanderbilt University have been working tirelessly to get out the word about Tennessee's Amendment 1, which would take the right of privacy for reproductive rights out of the state constitution and give local legislators the power to restrict access to abortion, even in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman, and outlaw many forms of birth control, such as the IUD or the pill. . . .