Voters supported the right to an abortion in midterm elections Tuesday after the reversal of Roe v. Wade earlier this year put the issue back in states’ hands.
In California, Michigan and Vermont, voters passed measures ensuring reproductive rights are codified in those states’ constitutions. In conservative Kentucky, voters rejected an anti-abortion measure that would have barred protecting the right to an abortion within the state constitution.
Montana voters decided on whether providers performing the procedures should face enhanced penalties. That vote had still not been called as of Wednesday morning.
The landmark abortion ruling reversal earlier this summer left healthcare providers in many states in a flux, with unclear guidance. Legislators immediately began working to enact local laws prohibiting the procedure or penalizing those performing them.
Many new and resurrected state laws covering abortion are still in legal limbo, bouncing around the courts while the constitutionality of those regulations are debated.
In Michigan, Roe v. Wade’s reversal put a 1931 state law banning abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest back on the books, though it was blocked in court following challenges from Planned Parenthood and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Whitmer made abortion rights and access a highlight of her reelection campaign, which she won Tuesday.
Other healthcare issues on state ballots included Medicaid expansion in South Dakota, which the red state’s voters approved of, expanding coverage to an estimated 42,500 people.
Missouri and Oklahoma expanded their Medicaid programs last year after successful ballot initiatives, following moves by Idaho, Nebraska and Utah.
Eleven states still have not expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
In Arizona, voters approved a measure protecting consumers from predatory medical debt collection practices. That new law will cut the maximum interest rate on medical debt to 3% annually from a current cap of 10%.
It will also decrease the amount of disposable earnings subject to garnishment to 10% and increase exemptions from debt collection for assets such as a home, car and bank account.