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RELEASE: DLCC Unveils New Memo Detailing Where Abortion Ballot Measure Outcomes Will Rely on Control of State Legislatures

Press Releases

Memo highlights the intersection of state legislatures and abortion ballot measures in 2024 landscape, why ballot measures are one piece of the puzzle to protect reproductive freedoms, and the importance of building state legislative power this year.

WASHINGTON– Today, the DLCC unveiled a new memo – “Ballot Measures and the Importance of Building State Legislative Power” – which provides an extensive look at the intersection of state legislatures and ballot measures and the best opportunities to protect reproductive freedoms in both the short and long term. 

The memo shows that reproductive freedoms are first and foremost fought in state legislatures, but the DLCC is planning on harnessing the power of ballot measures in 2024 as we fight to win new majorities and protect the rights of millions of Americans. 

To read the new, extensive memo, click here.

The memo also outlines how Democratic legislatures have served as a firewall for protecting reproductive freedoms, how 15 of the 25 states with abortion bans only allow the legislature to put ballot measures directly in front of the people, and how Republican legislatures have sought to undermine the results of pro-reproductive rights ballot measures – by threatening and introducing legislation to roll back certain provisions. 

Finally, this memo outlines the abortion ballot measures the DLCC is eyeing in November. 

These ballot measures can be fit into four categories:

1. Ballot Measures to Protect Rights in Legislative Battlegrounds – Arizona is the prime example of this, where we are just two seats away from majorities in both the state House and the state Senate.

2. Ballot Measures to Restrict Rights in Legislative Battlegrounds – The best examples here are in Pennsylvania, where our Democratic majority in the House has kept an anti-abortion ballot measure off the ballot, and in Wisconsin, where legislative protection for the Governor’s veto stalled a similar ballot measure.

3. Ballot Measures to Protect Rights Where Republicans Hold Entrenched Power – Florida is a prime example here where gerrymandering has entrenched Republicans in a supermajority. In the short term, voters have an opportunity this year to send a message via a ballot measure of their support for abortion rights as we continue to look for ways to potentially hold the legislature accountable if they work to undermine it.

4. Ballot Measures to Solidify the Gains of Democratic Legislative Majorities – Alongside ballot measures related to reproductive rights and protections being considered in states with Democratic trifectas like New York and Maryland, the measure in Nevada will help further protect rights as the Democratic legislature contends with a Republican governor. 

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Heather Williams issued the following statement:

“2024 will be a critical year in our effort to protect the rights of millions of Americans in the states and the DLCC is closely watching the landscape of ballot measures as we work to build and expand Democratic power in state legislatures. We know the future of reproductive freedoms is first and foremost being decided in state legislatures and this year we also believe harnessing the power of ballot measures this cycle will be essential as we fight to win new majorities and protect the rights of millions of Americans. The stakes are incredibly high this year, and supporters and voters engaging with this level of the ballot will be a deciding factor.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.