What happened: Numerous states voted to add constitutional protections for abortion last week. Some liberal states, like California and Vermont, were expected, while more red states that voted for pro-abortion policies, like Kentucky and Montana, were more surprising.
Why it matters: These midterms were the most expensive midterm elections ever, with a large chunk of Democrat spending—$320 million worth—focusing on abortion. It seems the ads worked, and young Democrat voters turned out in droves for abortion, restraining the expected red wave and exposing a political weakness for Republicans.
State by state
In Michigan, voters approved a new constitutional amendment that creates a right to “reproductive freedom,” turning the state into a haven for abortions in the midwest. State legislators will no longer be able to ban the procedure.
In California, voters approved a state constitutional amendment that gives people a “fundamental right to choose to have an abortion.” State legislators can no longer “deny or interfere” with abortion.
In Kentucky, voters rejected an amendment that would have prevented legislators from enshrining abortion access in the state constitution. Now, legislators will be able to legislate abortion access down the road. It's notable that Kentucky currently has two abortion bans in effect.
In Montana, voters rejected a “born alive” measure that would have required health providers to save infants born alive at any stage of pregnancy, including infants who survive abortion.