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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-11-08

Anti-Abortion Measures on November Ballots in CA, CO, and SD

Anti-abortion measures will be on the state-wide November ballots in California, Colorado, and South Dakota.

In California, a constitutional amendment will appear on the November ballot that, if passed, would require parental notification and a 48-hour waiting period before allowing a minor to obtain an abortion. Also in California, a second measure to amend the state constitution is still in circulation. This initiative would ban abortion once a fetus becomes viable at 24 weeks and states that "abortion after 24 weeks is murder unless necessary to save [the] motherís life".

The Colorado Definition of a Person, designated Amendment 48 on the state's November ballot, is a personhood initiative that declares a fertilized egg to be a person who enjoys all constitutional rights "relating to inalienable rights, equality of justice,
and due process of law". Personhood initiatives not only put a woman's right to an abortion in danger but also threaten oral and emergency contraception, IUDs, and in vitro fertilization clinics.

In South Dakota an abortion ban initiative will be on the ballot and could result in amendment of the South Dakota state constitution. The proposed law is known as "an act to protect the lives of unborn children, and the interests and health of pregnant mothers, by prohibiting abortions except in cases where the mother's life or health is at risk, and in cases of rape and incest". If approved by voters, this law would severely limit access to abortion and likely would be challenged in the courts.

In Mississippi, a petition circulating to put the Ultimate Human Life Amendment on the ballot expired, but the initiative may be re-submitted.

Nationally, anti-abortion measures have been proposed but were defeated in Georgia, Montana, Missouri, Oregon, and Washington.

Media Resources: CA, CO, MS, MO, MT, OR, SD and WA Secretary of State; Georgia House Resolution 536; Feminist Daily Newswire


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