FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: November 9, 2022
CONTACT: Emily Uhlmann, NIRH@skdknick.com
High Turnout Fueled by Voters’ Desire to Protect Abortion Access Led to Nearly Clean Sweep in Statewide Ballot Initiatives and Overwhelming Margins for Pro-Choice Governors
New York, NY – Last night, voters in states across the country delivered significant victories for reproductive freedom, turning out in large numbers for abortion rights up and down the ballot. In Kentucky, voters struck down an anti-abortion ballot initiative while Michigan, California, and Vermont voters all affirmed the right to make reproductive decisions – going so far as to enshrine these freedoms, including the right to abortion, within their state constitutions.
Eleven NIRH-endorsed candidates won their campaigns last night – with more races still waiting to be called – including Governor Kathy Hochul, who defeated her anti-abortion candidate in New York by more than 300,000 votes.
NIRH’s long-time partner, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, was elected Governor – making her the first openly lesbian governor in the country. In Pennsylvania, Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro sailed to victory – by over 10 percentage points – against an opponent who has called for those seeking abortion to be charged with murder. In Michigan and Wisconsin, reproductive rights champions Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Governor Tony Evers both won re-election, while Maryland voters elected the state’s first Black governor last night in Wes Moore.
“The results of last night’s midterm elections are a powerful victory for everyone who believes we should have the right and the ability to make fundamental decisions about our reproductive lives, including accessing abortion. Voters couldn’t have been clearer that this issue matters, and they have sent a strong message to those in power about their priorities for the future,” said Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the NIRH Action Fund. “We applaud the tireless work of our partner organizations across the country who made last night’s hard-earned victories possible, and honor the extraordinary efforts of those who helped narrow losing margins and lay the groundwork for a better future. We are celebrating today, but let’s be clear: the fact that a vast majority of the public supports reproductive freedoms has not stopped anti-abortion activists before. We have many fights ahead, and we remain committed to our mission to work state by state, city by city, until reproductive freedom – including abortion access – is a reality for all.”
Other highlights from last night include: voters’ ranking abortion as one of their top priorities in exit polls, Michigan voters flipping both chambers of their state legislature blue for the first time since the 1980s, victories for secretaries of state who will protect the democratic process in future elections, and more. Multiple races are still awaiting final calls – including Montana’s anti-abortion ballot initiative. If voters strike down this dangerous attempt to restrict abortion access, it will make for a clean sweep in favor of reproductive freedom among the numerous statewide ballot initiatives proposed last night.
About NIRH Action Fund
The National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund (NIRH Action Fund) builds political power for reproductive freedom. We partner with allied groups in states and cities to elect candidates who stand up for everyone’s right to control their reproductive lives, and work with elected officials to protect and advance reproductive rights. Our strategy is to go on the offensive and focus on communities where change is needed, so the fabric of reproductive freedom becomes harder to tear apart.