The Freedom From Religion Foundation is taking stances on Election Day referenda in more than a half-dozen states.
FFRF considers abortion rights as a state/church issue, given that the only organized opposition to abortion rights is religious in nature and since anti-abortion laws impose some believers’ narrow religious doctrines on all citizens regardless of views. That’s why with its 39,000 members nationwide, it is urging “yes” votes on favorable abortion rights measures in California, Michigan and Vermont. It is also opposing anti-abortion measures in Kentucky and Montana, supporting an Equal Rights Amendment ballot initiative in Nevada and opposing a so-called “religious freedom” amendment to Arkansas’ Constitution.
The state/church watchdog, which has more than 5,000 members in California, is urging its membership there to vote “yes” on Proposition 1 to guarantee the state cannot deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedoms. Through another action alert, FFRF is asking its 1,000 members in Michigan to vote “yes” on Proposal 3 to enshrine a woman’s right to abortion, contraception, prenatal care and postpartum care without government interference.
In Vermont, voters will have the opportunity to protect the right to an abortion in the state’s Constitution via Proposal 5, which says: “The right to reproductive liberty is central to the exercise of personal autonomy and involves decisions people should be able to make free from compulsion of the state.”
In contrast, FFRF is urging several hundred constituents in Kentucky to vote against harmful ballot measures to significantly restrict abortion rights. Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 2 seeks to restrict access to abortion. The measure would ensure that nothing in the state Constitution can be construed to safeguard a right to abortion.
FFRF members in Montana are being urged to vote “no” on LR-131, the “Medical Care Requirements for Born-Alive Infants Measure,” to force doctors to expend every available resource to save a fetus, regardless of viability. Opponents of this measure have expressed concern that it will unduly put doctors in jeopardy and will strip away the comfort and dignity of nonviable babies and their grieving parents.
In addition, FFRF also sent an action alert to its nearly 200 members in Arkansas to vote against a highly dangerous “religious freedom” constitutional measure. Residents of Arkansas are faced with a vote to amend their state’s Constitution to add Arkansas Issue 3, which seeks to amend the current “religious freedom” constitutional amendment by lowering the burden of proof to allege a violation of one’s religious freedoms.
Meanwhile, in Nevada, FFRF is asking its 300-plus members to support an Equal Rights Amendment on the ballot. Nevada Question 1 reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by this state or any of its political subdivisions on account of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, ancestry or national origin.” FFRF, whose membership is overwhelmingly in support of equality and equal justice, notes that ERA provisions should protect abortion rights.
FFRF’s Strategic Response Team will continue to monitor ballot measures, legislation and any initiative that impacts our members. (If you are not receiving FFRF action alerts and would like to get them, please fill out this request form and specify action alerts.)