As a progressive political wave washed across the country yesterday, reproductive justice advocates experienced three major victories. Voters in South Dakota, California, and Oregon rejected ballot measures that would have restricted abortion in their states.
The most publicized ballot measure – the one that would have banned abortion (except to save a woman's life) in South Dakota – was defeated. Sara Stoesz, President of the Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund, announced this victory:
Yesterday, tens of thousands of people across the state of South Dakota came together to overturn the most far-reaching abortion ban in many decades. Our coalition of men and women, faith leaders, business professionals and healthcare professionals sent a strong message to their legislators — don't use our state to push an extremist agenda.
CNN reports that the referendum was defeated with 56% of voters rejecting the ban and 44% voting yes.
Californians refused to require parental notification for teenagers seeking abortion, 54% voting to protect the health and safety of their teens vs. 46% who supported Prop 85. According to the Campaign for Real Teen Safety:
California has always been a pro-choice state and the voters saw through this deceptive initiative and said NO to placing our teens in danger. This vote guarantees that all teens, even those from abusive homes, will be able to access qualified doctors, nurses and counselors when they need them.
Thanks to our guest bloggers who shared their perspectives and reported on these ballot measures. And congratulations to reproductive justice advocates in California, Oregon, and South Dakota! Though the struggle is far from over, Americans have chosen to protect women's health once again.