Ohioans Rally for Abortion Rights Ahead of November Vote
Ohioans on both sides of the abortion debate are eagerly awaiting November’s vote, which could enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. This comes after anti-abortion advocates suffered a setback in their attempt to increase the threshold for passing a referendum amendment.
“I think this just is really going to bring our base together more and make us realize how much more we need to be messaging to all Ohioans and really broadening our base of support,”
Amy Natoce of Protect Women Ohio, the lead anti-abortion group in the state, expressed her optimism about the upcoming vote. She believes it will unite their base and encourage them to reach out to a wider audience.
Ohioans Vote on Issue 1
On Tuesday, Ohioans participated in a special election to decide on Issue 1. The question at hand was whether to require a super majority of 60% popular vote to add an amendment to the state constitution. After counting over 3 million ballots, the final results showed a 57-43 opposition to Issue 1.
“Our pro-life grassroots base is incredible. They carried this fight in August,”
Natoce acknowledged the dedication of their pro-life grassroots supporters, who played a crucial role in the August fight. However, she emphasized the importance of expanding their reach and engaging every Ohioan, as she believes every parent and woman should be concerned about the upcoming amendment.
Supported by the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, November’s amendment aims to prevent the state from burdening or interfering with individual access to abortion and contraception. While the amendment allows regulation of abortion after fetal viability, it still grants physicians the authority to determine if an abortion is in the best interest of the mother’s health.
The amendment also invalidates existing parental consent laws and certain safety regulations for abortion clinics. Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican running for the Senate seat in 2024, strongly supported Issue 1 but remains against the November abortion amendment.
“Ohioans will see the devastating impact of this vote soon enough. I’ve said for months now that there’s an assault coming on our constitution, and that hasn’t changed. I’m just getting started in the fight to protect Ohio’s values.”
Abortion rights advocates, on the other hand, view the Issue 1 vote as a sign of increased support for the November vote.
“The voices of Ohioans will never be silenced. Ohioans will now turn their focus to protecting their right to access abortion and to once again rejecting extremism and government control,”
Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, the state’s leading pro-abortion rights organization, expressed their determination to ensure families have the freedom to make decisions without government interference.
In August 2022, Kansas voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that aimed to restrict abortion access. Since then, Kansas has become a popular destination for out-of-state residents seeking abortions. Natoce expressed concern that Ohio may face a similar situation if the November amendment passes.
“That is a major concern that it will be harder to find and to prosecute predators,”
Natoce highlighted the potential risks associated with the amendment, including the removal of parental consent and the possibility of individuals taking advantage of underage girls without facing consequences.
Abortion rights advocates fear that failing to pass the amendment could eventually lead to the complete abolition of abortion.
“All year, hundreds of thousands Ohioans have been fighting for their reproductive freedom, volunteering, talking to their neighbors, and signing our ballot petition to protect abortion rights,”
Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights emphasized the ongoing fight for reproductive freedom and the need to ensure that the voices of Ohioans are heard in November.
Abortion rights advocates, however, fear that not passing the amendment will eventually result in the abolition of abortion entirely.
“All year, hundreds of thousands Ohioans have been fighting for their reproductive freedom, volunteering, talking to their neighbors, and signing our ballot petition to protect abortion rights,” Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights said. “Ohioans know that if we don’t succeed, the government will have the power to ban abortion completely, even in cases of rape, incest, or when someone’s life is in danger. Our grassroots movement across Ohio is continuously growing, and we will be working hard every day to ensure their voices are heard in November.”
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