In all five states where abortion care was on the ballot yesterday, including some red states, voters protected their right to make these choices for themselves.
In California, Michigan and Vermont, voters elected to incorporate reproductive freedom into their state’s constitution. In Kentucky, an anti-abortion amendment was defeated that would have codified that the state doesn’t recognize a right to an abortion. In Montana results were not certified as of Wednesday afternoon, but voters seemed to have rejected the Require Care for Infants Born Alive referendum. With 86 percent of the vote counted, it was losing by nearly 5 points.
Additionally, by Wednesday afternoon Republican candidates for the US House of Representatives had flipped only three seats, defying historical odds. Unfortunately, however, this included one seat here in New Jersey. Rep. Tom Malinowski conceded to Tom Kean, Jr., losing by almost 12,000 votes in the newly redrawn CD-07. Next year the NJ delegation to the House of Representatives will have 3 Republicans and 9 Democrats.
The red wave also failed to materialize in the US Senate, which may once again be decided by a runoff in Georgia. But in an important pickup for the Democrats, John Fetterman beat Dr. Mehmet Oz to give the Democrats a new vote against any attempt to criminalize abortion nationally.
There was even good news on the state level: Two governorships flipped from Republican to Democrat. In Massachusetts, Maura Healy becomes the first woman elected to the top state job and the first lesbian elected to any governorship. In Maryland, Wes Moore becomes the state’s first Black governor. Both the Michigan State Senate and State House as well as the Pennsylvania State House also went from red to blue.
“We are heartened that we held back the red wave and moved forward with more women and feminist candidates,” said Jill LaZare, Acting President of NOW-NJ. “And the support for reproductive rights in five states mirrored the surprise win in Kansas earlier this year, proving that the pre-Dobbs polls were correct that there is wide support for abortion services in the United States.
“But we are terribly sad to have lost our wonderful congressman in CD-07, Tom Malinowski, and look forward to his next saving-the-world work.”
NOW-NJ is a multi-issue, multi-strategy organization that takes a holistic approach to women’s rights. Our activists use both traditional and nontraditional means to push for social change. We engage in electoral and lobbying work. We organize marches, rallies, non-violent civil disobedience and immediate, responsive “zap” actions.