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Nurses in 6 States Can Vote on Abortion in the Coming Months

Alexa Davidson, MSN, RN
Updated March 1, 2023
    Nurse can advocate for patients by voting for abortion rights at upcoming elections. Find out which states need your vote the most.
    Credit: Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

    Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, states have the power to restrict or ban abortions. Whether you live in a pro- or anti-abortion state, nurses nationwide are affected by the Supreme Court’s decision.

    In pro-life states, healthcare providers may be charged criminally for performing abortions. In pro-choice states, healthcare facilities are already experiencing overwhelming volumes of people seeking abortion care.

    One of the most effective ways to advocate for patients is to vote for reproductive rights. Here are 6 states with upcoming elections that will affect the future of abortion rights in your area.

    Upcoming Elections on Abortion Nurses Should Know About

    Nurses play a crucial role in counseling patients about their options for reproductive health. The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade presents many challenges for nurses and patients — but you may be able to affect change at the polls.

    Using their professional platform, nurses can be a voice for patients in the community and by voting. Here are the states with election results/upcoming elections that can make a critical difference in abortion rights.

    2023 Election Cycle

    New York

    • Date: Nov. 7, 2023
    • Issue: New York Equal Protection Amendment

    In 2023, voters will decide whether to add an amendment to the New York Constitution that adds language prohibiting discrimination based on reproductive healthcare autonomy, gender identity, and sexual orientation. A “yes” vote agrees to add the amendment; a “no” vote keeps the New York Constitution as is.

    If passed, the New York Equal Protection Amendment will be a major step forward in codifying abortion rights. It also sets a precedent for ensuring equal rights for all people seeking healthcare.


    • Date: Nov. 7, 2023
    • Issue: Washington 15-Week Abortion Ban Initiative

    Residents of Washington state will vote to ban and criminalize abortions after 15 weeks. A “yes” vote agrees to repeal existing Washington law, which allows people a right to choose or refuse abortion. A “no” vote ensures reproductive freedom.

    If the measure is voted into law, healthcare providers in Washington may be criminally charged for performing an abortion after 15 weeks. There are exceptions for medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormalities.


    • Date: 2023
    • Issue: Pennsylvania No Constitutional Right to an Abortion Amendment

    Voters will decide whether to amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to add language prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. A “yes” vote will enact the measure into law, and a “no” vote will allow for the continued use of taxpayer funds for abortion care.

    2024 Election Cycle


    • Date: Nov. 5, 2024
    • Issue: Iowa No Right to Abortion in Constitution Amendment

    The proposed amendment to the Iowa Constitution will add language that denies the constitutional right to abortions or public funding for abortions.


    • Date: Nov. 5, 2024
    • Issue: Nevada Parental Notification of Abortion Initiative and Nevada Parental Consent for Child’s Healthcare Decisions and Medical Records Access Initiative

    The parental notification initiative would require parents to be notified if a minor receives an abortion in Nevada. The parental consent initiative would give parents full access to a minor’s medical records and consent to their healthcare decisions. The state of Nevada defines the age of majority as 18 years old.

    South Dakota

    • Date: Nov. 5, 2024
    • Issue: South Dakota Right to an Abortion Amendment

    The people of South Dakota will vote to make abortions legal with exceptions in 2024. If the measure is voted into law, people will be allowed to get an abortion after the first and second trimesters with regulations. The amendment will include language stating that an abortion must be medically necessary, as determined by a physician.