March 29, 2023

This article will be updated with final results and other developments.

The first election to test abortion rights after the Supreme Court overthrows Roe v. Wade seems unlikely to reshape the map of abortion access — at least not overnight. Voters in much of the country reinforced the status quo by choosing candidates who are likely to maintain or deepen existing protections or restrictions in their country.

States that protect access to abortion

States Restricting Access to Abortion

Results in treatment in races that affect abortion

  1. Arizona
  2. Montana
  3. Nebraska
  4. Pennsylvania

Several of the most competitive state-level races with abortion implications were too close on Wednesday to call. Republican power expanded in some states, opening the door to further bans on the proceedings in the coming months. Elsewhere, though, Republicans fell short in key contests for control of state governments, which could have easily allowed them to pass restrictions.

And voters in several states showed widespread support for abortion rights, with California, Michigan and Vermont enshrining continued protections in their state constitutions and rejecting an anti-abortion measure in Kentucky.

In many places, the outcome of ballot races can be just as important for abortion access as those for governor or legislative seats. Shifts in the power of the state's highest courts are important to watch as these courts can rule on new or existing abortion laws. Newly elected attorneys general will also have some say in their enforcement.

States that have added abortion protections in the meantime

Tap a state for more details

Democrats had hoped Roe's overthrow would drive voters who support abortion rights to the polls in November, and their hopes were boosted after Kansans rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to restrict abortion in August.

New constitutional protections approved by voters in three more states on Tuesday will not only strengthen local and regional access to abortion, but may encourage other states to follow suit.


Abortion is already legal until viability.

Ballot paper for confirmation of right to abortion adopted

The state already has strong protective measures in place, and voters approved an amendment to the state constitution to protect reproductive rights, including the right to abortion and contraception. The new amendment provides a safeguard that can only be undone by a new voter referendum.


An almost complete ban is blocked in court.

Ballot paper for confirmation of right to abortion adopted

Democratic governor re-elected

New Democratic Majority in State Senate

Democratic Attorney General Re-elected

A winning ballot measure will enshrine the right to abortion in Michigan and overturn an existing 1931 ban already blocked in court.

Michigan Democrats drove support for abortion rights to overturn the state Senate and possibly the House of Representatives, giving them control of the state government for the first time in 40 years. Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, both Democrats who pledged to protect abortion rights, won re-election.


Abortion is already legal with no pregnancy limit.

Ballot paper for confirmation of right to abortion adopted

A large majority of voters supported a proposal to amend the state constitution to guarantee the right to personal reproductive autonomy. State lawmakers had first passed legislation in 2019 recognizing abortion as a fundamental right to begin the multi-year amendment process.

States that can add abortion restrictions after the midterms

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In some states that already restrict access to abortion, races up and down the vote removed Democratic lawmakers who stood in the way of restrictions. With fewer obstacles, Republican majorities are expected to pass new or tougher bans in the coming months.

“We will see states that have already banned abortion trying to impose other restrictions as well,” said Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. She pointed to possibilities, including tougher criminal penalties for providers and allowing attorneys general to prosecute local abortion cases.


15-week ban in effect

Republican supermajority assured in state legislature

Republican governor re-elected

Republicans secured supermajorities in both chambers of the Florida legislature, putting them on the path to further restrict abortion. And they will likely get the support of Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican who won reelection in a landslide and said rather that he plans to "extend pro-life protections." Florida bans abortion as early as 15 weeks of pregnancy, but lawmakers can push for a six-week ban or a total ban.


A six-week suspension is blocked by the court.

Conservative Majority Assured in State Supreme Court

Republican governor re-elected

Republicans won all three seats in the Ohio Supreme Court election, and Governor Mike DeWine will appoint a new judge to fill a vacant seat, securing a stronger conservative majority. A ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which Mr. DeWine signed in 2019, is currently being blocked by a lower court in Ohio but is expected to reach the state's Supreme Court next year.

The court has not previously ruled on abortion rights, but the new composition "could have a significant impact on abortion-related cases," said Douglas Keith, counsel for democracy programs at the Brennan Center for Justice.

Where abortion policy remains uncertain after the midterms

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While voters in many states affirmed the status quo on abortion, the results of the midterm elections were more mixed in a few places. An unexpected outcome was voters' rejection of an anti-abortion ballot measure in Kentucky, a state that bans nearly all abortions. And divided partisan control over state governments in a few other states could mean a stalemate for new abortion laws for now.


Abortion is already legal up to 22 weeks.

Democratic governor re-elected

Republican Attorney General Elected

Democratic incumbent Laura Kelly held onto the governor's office, although Republicans retained a veto-resistant majority in the legislature and could try to introduce abortion restrictions in next year's legislative session. The newly elected Republican Attorney General, Kris Kobach, said he wants to make Kansas the most anti-abortion state in the country.

In August, Kansans firmly rejected an amendment that would have removed abortion rights protections from the state constitution, which the state's Supreme Court recognized in 2019.


An almost complete ban is already in place.

Voting measure denying all right to abortion rejected

Kentucky already bans nearly all abortions, but the midterm elections showed some support for abortion rights: A majority of voters opposed a vote to amend the state constitution to say there is no right to abortion. That rejection won't overturn the existing ban, but the vote could influence the decision of the state's Supreme Court in a lawsuit against the ban that comes into effect next week.

Republicans in the state legislature maintained their veto-resistant majority over Democratic governor Andy Beshear, who has rescinded the ban. But two state Supreme Court candidates, who were supported by anti-abortion groups, did not win their race.

North Carolina

A 20-week ban is already in effect.

Conservative Majority Assured in State Supreme Court

Republicans won a new majority in the state's Supreme Court, flipping two seats and shifting the balance of power in favor of conservatives. The court has not ruled on abortion restrictions in the past, but the new conservative majority is more likely to reject any challenge to future bans.

However, enacting an abortion ban in North Carolina will not be possible until at least 2025, when Governor Roy Cooper's term ends. Mr. Cooper, a Democrat, is against abortion restrictions, and Republicans have failed to secure a supermajority in the legislature that would have allowed them to overturn his veto.

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