The right to life is back on the ballot, with up to 12 states expected to vote on whether to legalize abortion – including gruesome late-term and partial-birth abortions. 

Current polls suggest pro-lifers could lose these ballot battles. Advocates like Chelsey Youman with Human Coalition are calling for the church to step up and help support the right to life. 

“We have to understand that the church needs to engage more than ever on this issue,” said Youman. “We are losing on every front.” 

Despite bans in 14 states after the fall of Roe V. Wade, the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion policy group, reports abortion hit its highest rate in 12 years, in 2023. Youman says a main contributor is easy access to the abortion pill via mail. She also flags a growing pro-abortion coalition with deep pockets contributing to the increase in abortions. 

“The abortion rate was over a million children (last year),” said Youman. “And 65% of that is done by the chemical abortion pill.”

Last year, Ohio, Michigan, and California were the first to legalize abortion with voter referendums adding an amendment to their state constitutions, guaranteeing abortion procedures. 

This year, five more states will vote on similar amendments ahead of November’s presidential election with seven additional states expected to add the issue to their ballots. 

Recent polling in these Republican-led states indicates most voters support protecting abortion but differ on limits such as the number of weeks into a pregnancy it should be allowed. Dr. Michael New, Assistant Professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. says not to read too much into the numbers despite several polls that indicate a pro-abortion blowout in November. 

“I don’t think we need to despair,” Dr. New said. “I think the polls put pro-lifers in a better position than we might realize. So, if you look at these polls, you see that South Dakota, I think support for this ballot proposition is in the low 50s. That means pro-lifers could win. In Missouri, it’s like 46, or 47. That’s suitable for pro-lifers. Florida’s a unique state because, unlike other states, you need 60% to prevail. If you look at the average of six statewide polls, support for this ballot proposition is only around 56%. So, we have our work cut out for us, it’s not going to be easy. But the polls aren’t as devastating as we might think.”

With abortion a key issue in the 2024 elections, Dr. New says pro-abortion forces are well-funded. Last year in Ohio, abortion supporters outpaced pro-lifers, raising tens of millions of dollars. It’s now legal until 22 weeks of pregnancy in that state. 

Founder and Chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Ralph Reed, is spending $62 million to boost Evangelical turnout in 2024. He told CBN’s Faith Nation the pro-life movement can expect more wins. 

“We won a huge victory with the Dobbs decision,” said Reed. “We’ve passed pro-life laws, heartbeat abortion bans, some even more pro-life than that in 21 states. They’re going to run out of states where they can put initiatives on the ballot. They have to get to 60% in Florida. So, at some point, they’ll run out of these states where they can qualify initiatives. Then after that it’s our turn and we’re going to keep moving the pro-life ball down the field.”

For now, the fight over abortion rights is especially red hot in South Dakota where pro-life activists are suing the group behind a ballot measure, claiming they committed fraud and lied about the number of signatures needed to get the measure on the ballot. Similar opposition and legal challenges are being fought in Arizona and Nevada. 

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