2/3 Pro-Life Ballot Initiatives Won Last Night

2/3 Pro-Life Ballot Initiatives Won Last Night November 7, 2018
A baby in blankets (PHoto by Michal Bar Haim on Unsplash)
A baby in blankets (Michal Bar Haim on Unsplash CC0)

Three states had statewide pro-life ballot initiatives yesterday. Two passed and one lost in the election.

Pro-Life Wins

Alabama had the most sweeping initiative which won by a wide margin. As The Washington Times reported: (Emphasis added)

Alabama’s Amendment 2 coasted to victory with 59 percent of the vote, inserting language to the state constitution to “recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life.”

West Virginia’s more modest initiative also won support.

In West Virginia, one of 17 states with state funding of elective abortion, voters passed Amendment 1, known as the “No Right to Abortion Amendment,” by a margin of 52 to 48 percent. […]

“Given the chance to influence abortion policy directly, so far tonight voters have embraced life as West Virginia and Alabama already have weighed in with legal protections,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America.

“In a world after Roe, the voters will finally get to decide what abortion policy they support, and in this election, we saw people getting ready for the day in which Roe becomes a footnote in history,” she said in a statement.

A Pro-Life Loss

In Oregon, on the other hand, voters widely wanted to keep abortion funding. As Oregon Live reported:

A ballot measure to restrict state funds for abortions was rejected Tuesday by 66 percent of the vote in partial returns. […]

Measure 106 would have amended Oregon’s Constitution to ban any public funds from being used on abortions, unless medically necessary to save the mother’s life. Currently, anyone on publicly funded health insurance, such as the Oregon Health Plan, can receive an abortion if approved by a medical professional.

A chilling line in the Oregon live story shows the reduction of the value of human life. (Emphasis added)

Supporters say that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the cost of abortions, especially if they are morally opposed to them.

However, the state estimates that the measure will actually add $4.8 million to taxpayers’ bills, because more babies will be on government health insurance.

We shouldn’t reduce the value of human life to dollars and cents. Deciding if babies should live based on their health-care costs is too close to eugenics for comfort.


As Catholics, we should always promote the value of human life from conception to natural death. Ballot initiatives like this often help reduce abortions so should be promoted.

However, we need to remain diligent for two reasons. First, many states still need to hear about the innate value of unborn human life as their current voter base will not pass pro-life initiatives. Second, we need to realize that such initiatives are only one part of stopping abortion. We want abortion to be unthinkable and unheard of, not just illegal. We need to reduce abortions both through laws and through changing public opinion, but the biggest thing we can do is help those in tough pregnancies remove the obstacles so they can choose life.


  • When Kavanaugh was appointed, I cautioned against thinking his appointment meant the end of abortion.
  • I also wrote about how ending Roe doesn’t end abortions, or even make them illegal in every state.

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