A year away from the country’s next presidential election, Democrats and abortion rights advocates won a series of victories in elections in several U.S. states Tuesday.
Voters in the state of Ohio approved a constitutional amendment guaranteeing access to abortion and other forms of reproductive health care.
The measure follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year to overturn the 1972 Roe v. Wade decision that had protected abortion rights.
Ohio was one of several states where an abortion ban went into effect as a result of the court’s decision.
Before Ohio, voters in several other states, including California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana and Vermont, adopted initiatives to protect abortion access following the Supreme Court ruling last year.
In Kentucky, Democratic Governor Andy Beshear won re-election Tuesday after a campaign that included advocating for exceptions to the state’s near-total abortion ban.
Voters in Virginia denied Republican Governor Glen Youngkin’s hope of putting the state’s legislature in his party’s control. Democrats held onto a slim majority in the state Senate while taking back a majority in the House of Delegates.
Youngkin has proposed instituting a 15-week abortion ban in Virginia except in cases of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is at risk. A Democratic majority in the legislature will block that effort.
Republicans did score a win Tuesday in the state of Mississippi, where Governor Tate Reeves defeated Democrat Brandon Presley to earn a second term in office.
November 2024 will feature a much bigger slate of national and state elections, led by races for the U.S. president, all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and new terms for 33 seats in the U.S. Senate.
There will also be special elections to finish the final years of Senate terms for two seats, one left vacant by the death of Democrat Dianne Feinstein and the other by Republican Ben Sasse’s resignation to become a university president.
Democrats currently hold a narrow majority in the Senate, while Republicans have a small majority in the House.
Eleven states will hold elections for governor in 2024, while voters in most of the 50 states will cast ballots in legislative races.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters