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Post-Election Round-up: Are These Results Enough?

by Lindsay SwisherPEP Young Women's Leadership Council

Election Day can bring a variety of emotions for many people. Some people are scared, some are excited, and many simply wait in anticipation for the results people have worked so hard to achieve. This past Election Day, November 7, 2006, proved to be a successful day for those working to protect reproductive freedom. As many of you know, the proposed abortion ban in South Dakota was a hot issue in this year’s election. This ban would have outlawed abortions in any case, even to protect the life of the female/mother. It would have created the most restrictive law of any state on citizens’ reproductive choices. Thankfully, the ban was defeated by 56 percent to 44 percent.

Other ballots containing abortion legislation were those in California and Oregon. Both of these ballots contained legislation that would require parents to be notified at least forty-eight hours before any minor could receive an abortion. In both of these states, this is the second time voters have stepped up and denied legislation restricting their rights. Voters also spoke up and elected many pro-choice officials on Election Day.

This dedication to reproductive freedom proves that citizens are tired of politicians over-stepping their boundaries and trying to restrict personal and private decisions. In five states (HI, IL, MN, NH, WV), voters helped move their State Senates from either mixed or anti-choice to pro-choice majorities. In three states (AK, UT, WI), majorities shifted from anti-choice to mixed, however, no pro-choice state switched to an anti or mixed Senate. Similar results can be seen in the state House elections where one state (NH) moved to a pro-choice majority, and four states (AK, NV, MN, IN) moved to mixed-choice Houses.

In terms of governors, six states were able to increase their choice standing by moving to a mixed or pro-choice governor. On a larger scale, Democrats overtook both the House and Senate in the Federal elections. Democrats now control the House of Representatives by a majority of 233 to 201 representatives. The Senate is controlled by the Democrats by a closer margin of 51 to 49.

These elections results prove that citizens of the United States are dedicated to preserving their rights for reproductive freedom, yet it seems that politicians have no intention of minimizing the number of restrictive laws introduced on reproductive rights. Look at California where the parental notification law was the second initiative introduced on that same topic in just two years. It seems that politicians may stop at nothing until the choices of citizens are taken away for good.

So the question remains, how can we stop them? What must we do to prove once and for all that pro-choice voters have no intention on giving up? The answer is simple. Stand up as voters and remove them from office. Fill our offices with politicians dedicated to preserving the rights and freedoms that the American people have worked so hard to gain. Be a voice for the issues you support, and not just a supporter. Stand up and demand change, because when we work together and stand up as one, we can achieve great changes that will last a lifetime.

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