'Seismic win': Michigan voters approve constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights
Abortion rights activists rally in Miami in June 2022 after the US Supreme Court struck down the right to abortion(AFP)

Michigan residents on Tuesday voted to enshrine abortion rights in the state's constitution, a major victory in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's deeply unpopular decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and amid a nationwide GOP assault on reproductive freedom.

The initiative, one of several abortion-related measures on the ballot across the country Tuesday, currently leads by a margin of 55.6% to 44.4% with 84% of the votes counted.

"When people can vote directly on abortion in a non-partisan ballot initiative, abortion rights win."

Approval of the ballot measure effectively spells the end of right-wing efforts to impose a draconian 1931 abortion ban in Michigan, where reproductive freedom advocates have been working for months to build support for the constitutional amendment as GOP officials did their best to tank it. The Reproductive Freedom for All campaign submitted more than 753,000 signatures in support of the amendment—a state record.

"Proposal 3's passage marks an historic victory for abortion access in our state and in our country—and Michigan has paved the way for future efforts to restore the rights and protections of Roe v. Wade nationwide," said Darci McConnell, Reproductive Freedom for All's communication director.

The amendment states that "every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which entails the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care."

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement that "this is a seismic win for abortion rights in a battleground state."

"This victory is also a win for people in the neighboring states of Indiana and Ohio, where abortion is banned," Northup added. "Until there is national legislation that protects abortion rights across the country, we will continue to work to ensure that state constitutions protect the right to abortion."

Passage of Proposal 3 in Michigan was one of several abortion rights victories Tuesday, as voters in a number of states approved reproductive freedom measures and fended off GOP-backed anti-abortion initiatives.

In California and Vermont, states where abortion is currently legal, voters approved ballot measures to affirm support for reproductive freedom in their states' constitutions.

Voters in Montana and Kentucky, meanwhile, are poised to defeat anti-abortion measures that would further roll back their reproductive rights.

"Voters are rejecting the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe and issuing a clarion call that they want their rights constitutionally protected," said Northup. "When people can vote directly on abortion in a non-partisan ballot initiative, abortion rights win."