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Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Take Battle to the Ballot: An Analysis of Contributions to Abortion-Related Ballot Measure Committees in 2005 and 2006

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In 2005 and 2006, citizens in three states voted down ballot measures that would have restricted abortion. South Dakota voters defeated a law passed previously by the state legislature that would have prohibited abortion in most forms. Meanwhile, voters in California and Oregon rejected measures that would have required a waiting period and parental notification prior to a minor
receiving an abortion.

The measures reflect the actions by abortion opponents to strip abortion rights gradually on both the federal and state levels, while also attempting to outlaw abortion procedures completely. These actions have put abortion-rights advocates on the defensive against the momentum created by anti-abortion victories, causing advocates to pour money into thwarting any threat to abortion rights. The 2005 and 2006 abortion measure battles in the three states attracted nearly $28 million in contributions. Opponents of the measures raised nearly $18 million, or 78 percent more than the $10 million raised by proponents.