Republicans Race to Block Access to Ballots for Abortion-Rights Initiatives

Mar 20, 2023
By Ed Kilgore, political columnist for Intelligencer since 2015

Throughout the long but ultimately fragile constitutional regime of Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion advocates and their Republican political partners endlessly inveighed against “activist judges” who were preventing the people and their elected legislators from setting policy in this area by making laws in the states. But now that they’ve won the battle to eliminate any federal right to choose, conservatives are in danger of losing the war in the very court of public opinion they’ve long cited as legitimately supreme. Since the end of Roe last summer, voters in six states have either entrenched abortion rights by constitutional amendment (California, Michigan, and Vermont) or defeated anti-abortion ballot initiatives intended to strip previously established rights (Kansas, Kentucky, and Montana).