These States Have Abortion On The Ballot 2024—As Democrats Hope They’ll Up Voter Turnout


Democrats are hoping abortion rights issues on these state ballots in November will boost voter turnout as the party continues to attack Republicans over the issue.

Key Facts

Florida: The state Supreme Court ruled Monday that the six-week ban signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis last year will be allowed to take effect May 1, but the ruling also said voters could decide on a constitutional amendment in November that would effectively reverse the law and enshrine the right to abortion.

Arizona: Abortion rights groups said Tuesday they’ve gathered enough signatures to put a constitutional amendment before voters in November to enshrine a “fundamental right” to abortion up until fetal viability, about 24 weeks of pregnancy, or to protect the “physical or mental health of the pregnant individual,” which would effectively reverse the state’s 15-week abortion ban—but the signatures still need to be verified by the secretary of state.

Maryland: Abortion is legal in the state, and voters will decide in November whether to enshrine the right to reproductive freedom into the state constitution via what’s known as the “Maryland Right to Reproductive Freedom Amendment,” which declares “the state may not, directly or indirectly, deny, burden, or abridge the right unless justified by a compelling state interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”

New York: The constitutional amendment voters are set to decide on would prohibit people’s rights from being denied based on “pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, reproductive healthcare and autonomy,” effectively adding the right to an abortion to the existing Equal Protection Clause that prevents discrimination on the basis of “race, color, creed or religion.”

What We Don’t Know

Signature drives are underway in Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada and South Dakota for ballot issues that would expand access to abortion. Several states have dueling measures in the works, including Colorado, where one measure would ban abortion access and another would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution.

What To Watch For

How former President Donald Trump will respond to the Florida Supreme Court ruling. He has taken credit for Roe v. Wade’s reversal through his appointment of conservative Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn the federal right to abortion, but he has also called Florida’s six-week abortion ban a “terrible mistake” and objected to Alabama’s recent in vitro fertilization ruling. Trump in March expressed openness to a federal abortion ban past 15 weeks of pregnancy, the clearest public indicator yet of his stance on a federal abortion ban after largely shying away from the issue. Trump acknowledged in the Fox News interview “a lot of Republicans didn’t know how to talk about” abortion, but said he hasn’t “agreed to a number” of weeks at which federal abortions might be banned.

Chief Critic

The Biden campaign attacked Trump in the wake of the Florida Supreme Court ruling for his role in Roe v. Wade’s reversal in a new ad Tuesday. “In 2016, Donald Trump ran to overturn Roe v. Wade. Now, in 2024, he’s running to pass a national ban on a woman’s right to choose,” Biden said in the ad. “I’m running to make Roe v. Wade the law of the land again, so women again have a federal guarantee to the right to choose.” The Biden campaign said Tuesday Florida is a “winnable” state for Biden this year, despite Trump winning the state in the two previous elections.

Key Background

Democrats have continued to capitalize on the backlash to Roe v. Wade’s reversal in 2024 by highlighting Republicans’ support for the consequential ruling, while the ballot issues are expected to draw more Democrats to the polls in November. Democrats have also targeted Republicans over the controversial Alabama Supreme Court ruling that effectively curtailed access to IVF, blaming Roe v. Wade’s reversal for empowering states to make their own decisions on reproductive rights. Republicans, meanwhile, have struggled to form a cohesive messaging strategy on abortion, and have sought to separate the issue from the Alabama Supreme Court ruling, with a broad coalition of Republicans who support abortion restrictions coming out against Alabama’s IVF limitations.


Voters have approved a string of abortion rights ballot issues since Roe v. Wade’s reversal, including in red states like Kansas and Ohio, underscoring the issue’s significant sway with voters more than a year after the Supreme Court decision. Democrats also pointed to an obscure state house race in Alabama as a harbinger for how reproductive rights issues could weigh on the November election after Democrat Marilyn Lands, who campaigned heavily on the IVF ruling, cruised to victory last week after losing the race for the seat in 2022.

Further Reading

Abortion Rights Victories Continue: Here Are All The Wins In Major Elections Since The Supreme Court Overturned Roe (Forbes)

Here’s Where Abortion Rights Are On The Ballot In The Midterms (Forbes)

15-Week Abortion Bans In Spotlight After 2023 Elections—Here’s What To Know About Them (Forbes)


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