Voters turn out when abortion is on the ballot. Here are the states to watch this November.

Two years after Roe v. Wade was overturned, abortion rights advocates are fiercely fighting to secure reproductive freedom, state by state.

Protesters, holding signs reading, for example,
Protesters rally outside the Supreme Court building after the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022. (Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP)

It has been two years since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a federal right to abortion, in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, now returning the issue of abortion to individual states.

Since then 14 states have completely banned abortion with limited exceptions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights. New state bans forced more than 171,000 abortion patients to travel out of state for care in 2023 alone, more than double the number who traveled out of state for abortions in 2019, before Roe was overturned.

"Traveling for abortion care requires individuals to overcome huge financial and logistical barriers, and our findings show just how far people will travel to obtain the care they want and deserve," Isaac Maddow-Zimet, Guttmacher data scientist and project lead, said in a June 13 statement.

Meanwhile, recent data from Guttmacher shows that the new restrictions have not resulted in fewer abortions nationwide. In fact, in 2023, the first full year after Roe was overturned, more than 1 million clinician-provided abortions were provided in states that did not have a total ban, the highest number and rate measured since 2011 in the United States.

Abortion has emerged as a key issue in the 2024 election. Former President Donald Trump has boasted on the campaign trail that he was able to “kill Roe v. Wade” by appointing the justices that gave the court its current 6-3 conservative majority. President Biden, meanwhile, has sought to harness the backlash against the Supreme Court ruling, releasing a campaign ad Monday attacking Trump and warned in a statement that Trump will pursue a nationwide abortion ban if elected.

Over the past two years, abortion rights advocates have fiercely fought to reestablish reproductive freedom at the state level, either through legislation or citizen-led initiatives. So far every one of those initiatives has delivered a victory for abortion rights advocates. Recent polling shows that public support for a federal law legalizing and ensuring access to abortions nationwide has reached its highest level since Roe was overturned.

Come November, abortion rights advocates are hoping to channel that momentum into support for more ballot initiatives, which have proved to be a powerful guardrail against abortion bans.

Here’s where abortion will definitely be on the ballot in November, and which states could still take up the issue this fall.

  • Colorado: A citizen-led initiative will ask voters to consider an amendment to the state constitution that enshrines the right to an abortion. The initiative needs a supermajority vote of 55% in order to be approved. Abortion is currently legal in all cases in Colorado, and minors must have parental consent.

  • Florida: Voters in the Sunshine State will be asked to consider a citizen-led ballot measure that says, “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient's health, as determined by the patient's healthcare provider.” The amendment will need a supermajority of 60% of the vote to pass. Abortion is currently illegal in Florida after six weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions for rape, incest, human trafficking, health of the mother or fetal abnormality.

  • Maryland: The Right to Reproductive Freedom Amendment put forth by state legislators would change Maryland’s constitution to say that every person has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom, “including but not limited to the ability to make and effectuate decisions to prevent, continue, or end one’s own pregnancy.” Maryland state law currently protects abortion until viability, and minors must obtain parental consent.

  • New York: The Equal Protection of Law Amendment would enshrine abortion rights in New York’s state constitution by banning any kind of discrimination based on "ethnicity, national origin, age, and disability," as well as "sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive healthcare and autonomy." New York state law currently permits abortion until viability. The ballot initiative led by Democratic state lawmakers was restored to the November ballot on June 18 after it was challenged by Republican state Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes.

  • South Dakota: The South Dakota Right to Abortion Amendment is a citizen-led initiative that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution by making abortion legal while allowing certain restrictions after the first and second trimesters. Abortion is currently banned with no exceptions for rape or incest in South Dakota.

The following states have citizen-led initiatives underway to preserve the right to an abortion in their constitutions, but they still need either the required number of petition signatures or need those signatures certified: Arizona (abortion currently banned after 15 weeks), Arkansas (total abortion ban with few exceptions), Missouri (total abortion ban with few exceptions), Montana (abortion legal until viability), Nebraska (abortion banned after 12 weeks) and Nevada (abortion legal until 24 weeks).

Abortion rights advocates aren’t the only ones looking to ballot initiatives to further their agenda on the state level. In Nebraska, for example, two citizen-led initiatives are aiming to reduce the window of time in which abortions can legally be obtained in the state. And in Pennsylvania, state lawmakers have proposed the No State Constitutional Right to Abortion Amendment, which would change a section of the state constitution to read: “This constitution does not grant the right to taxpayer-funded abortion or any other right relating to abortion.” Abortion is currently legal in Pennsylvania until the 24th week of pregnancy.

Yahoo News will continue to provide updates as abortion-related initiatives are officially approved for various November ballots.