Just months after the fall of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, abortion rights had a big night, led by Proposition 1 in California.
According to results, which are still being counted, more than 3.4 million voted to make access to abortion a constitutional right in the state of California.
Many elections, like the Los Angeles mayoral race, will not be called for days or even weeks, but Prop. 1 won overnight. With only 42% of the vote in, the race for Prop. 1 was called to win with nearly two-thirds majority favoring the vote.
Many USC students met the results with excitement and hope for what it means going forward.
“It’s really exciting,” said junior Celine Vazquez. “I hope other states follow through. Abortion rights should be protected across the whole country. Abortion is just a form of health care. So having access to it when you’re young, having access to it when you’re old, one should have access to it, period.”
Junior Emily Sabinas also praised the result and California’s role in protecting access to abortion.
“It makes me feel thankful that I live in this state that really cares for women’s right to choose whatever she wants to do with her body,” Sabinas said.
While several students praised the move and the election result, the discussion around abortion remains contentious and not everyone was happy to see the proposition pass.
Trojans for Life, an anti-abortion rights club at USC, remain firmly against Proposition 1.
Morgan Farrier, president of Trojans for Life, told Annenberg Media that the proposition goes too far, arguing that the move “makes all abortions at any point in pregnancy legal.”
A big dispute over Prop. 1 focused on whether it will allow for late-term abortions, a question Republican campaigns around the country asked following last summer’s Supreme Court ruling.
According to the Associated Press, “California already prohibits most abortions after fetal viability, defined in state law as the point during a pregnancy at which there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus’ sustained survival outside the uterus.”
But Farrier argued that the fetus’s rights were just as important as those of the mother.
“I think on either end of the spectrum, you either have a human rights violation of the fetus’s right to life or you have a human rights violation of bodily autonomy,” said Farrier.
But Prop. 1 advocates argued that the measure will grant many women with underlying health conditions access to abortions that would keep them safe and healthy.
“I have some health conditions that would make being pregnant super dangerous for me,” junior Georgia Danehy said. “And it really scares me how a lot of places would value the life of a fetus over me.”
Nationally, five states had abortion-related measures on the ballot this election day. In Vermont and Michigan, similar ballot measures affirmed abortion rights.
Newly re-elected Gov. Gavin Newsom, who spearheaded the state’s response to the fall of Roe, led a Prop. 1 rally asking voters to “Vote Yes.”
“We have affirmed we are a true freedom state,” Newsom said.