Abortion rights initiatives make the ballot in SD and Colo.

Voters in Colorado and South Dakota will have a say on abortion rights this fall after enough signatures were collected to put measures on the ballots.

South Dakota voters will get a chance at direct democracy on the contentious issue in a conservative state where a trigger law banning nearly all abortions went into effect after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Colorado’s measure, which made the ballot Friday, would enshrine abortion protections into the state constitution. Colorado already has broad protections for abortion, becoming a haven for those in states that have restricted abortion, particularly Texas.

South Dakota’s top election official announced Thursday that about 85% of the more than 55,000 signatures submitted in support of the ballot initiative are valid, exceeding the required 35,017 signatures.

Voters will vote up or down on prohibiting the state from regulating abortion before the end of the first trimester and allowing the state to regulate abortion after the second trimester, except when necessary to preserve the life or physical or emotional health of a pregnant woman.

Dakotans for Health, which sponsored the amendment, said in a statement Thursday that the signatures’ validation “certified that the people of South Dakota, not the politicians in Pierre, will be the ones to decide whether to restore Roe v. Wade as the law of South Dakota.”

Abortion rights are also on the ballot in Florida and Maryland, and advocates are still working toward that goal in states including Arizona, Montana and Nebraska in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 reversal of Roe.


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