WASHINGTON (CNS) — An Oregon measure that would have banned state funding for elective and late-term abortions was defeated by voters Nov. 6, while an amendment to the West Virginia constitution stating that women do not have a right to an abortion was passed by a narrow margin.
Alabamans also approved a measure that makes it state policy to “recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children.”
The measures were among several nationwide that attracted the interest of Catholic voters, including the legalization of marijuana, the expansion of Medicaid and what would have been the first-ever carbon emission tax in a single state.
The Oregon anti-abortion proposal gained the support of Archbishop Alexander K. Sample of Portland, who urged Catholics to approve the measure in a column that appeared Nov. 1 on the website of the Catholic Sentinel, the archdiocesan newspaper.
The measure was written to overturn a 2017 Oregon law that expanded taxpayer funding for abortion.
The passage in West Virginia opens the door to the state Legislature banning abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
In Washington, the state’s bishops saw one ballot initiative they supported gain approval from voters while another that was designed to address carbon pollution was defeated.
Initiative 1639, which established new restrictions on gun ownership, was approved 60.4 percent to 39.6 percent.
Supported by the Washington State Catholic Conference, the initiative calls for strengthening background checks, imposes a 10-day waiting period before completing the purchase of semi-automatic weapons, requires safety training, establishes storage requirements and increases the minimum age to buy assault rifles from 18 to 21.
A proposal to establish a carbon emissions tax was handily defeated by Washington voters, 56.3 percent to 43.7 percent. Fossil fuel companies and developers poured millions of dollars in advertising to block the initiative.
Washington’s bishops said that “wise action” was needed to address climate change to protect the common good for present and future generations and urged voters to carefully consider the emission tax plan.
Oregon voters also turned down an effort to overturn the state’s sanctuary law that forbids state and local law enforcement agencies from using public resources to arrest people whose only criminal violation is that they are in the U.S. illegally. The final count was 62.8 percent to 37.2 percent to keep the law in place.
Elsewhere, voters approved Medicaid expansion for low- and moderate-income residents in traditionally conservative Idaho, Nebraska and Utah, the only three states where such measures were up for a vote.
Michigan voters approved the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, 55.8 percent to 44.2 percent, making the state the 10th in the nation to do so.
Medical marijuana initiatives were approved in Missouri and Utah. However, voters in North Dakota defeated a similar measure.
Voters in Arkansas and Missouri approved issues to raise each state’s minimum wage. In Arkansas, the minimum wage was to rise to $11 an hour from $8.50 by 2021, while in neighboring Missouri, the wage was to increase to $12 an hour from $7.85 by 2023.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Catholic agencies closely monitor giving after clergy sex abuse shock
NEXT: Archival discovery at Catholic U. leads to Kristallnacht remembrance
Share this story