Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday guaranteeing access to abortion and other forms of health care, the latest victory for abortion rights supporters since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. He died last year.
Ohio became the seventh state where voters decided to protect access to abortion after the landmark decision and it was condition only to consider the question of abortion rights nationwide this year.
“The future is bright, and tonight we can celebrate this victory for bodily autonomy and reproductive rights,” Lauren Blauvelt, chairwoman of Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, which led support for the amendment, told the crowd of supporters.
The result of intense, in this year’s elections it can be a bellwether in 2024, where Democrats hope the issue will energize their voters and help President Joe Biden retain the White House. Voters are in Arizona, Missouri and in other areas it is expected to vote for the same protection next year.
Heather Williams, interim president of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to state legislatures, said the vote in favor of abortion rights was “a huge victory.”
“Ohio’s strong support for this constitutional amendment reaffirms Democratic priorities and sends a strong message to the state GOP that reproductive rights are non-negotiable,” he said in a statement.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris issued statements celebrating the amendment’s success, stressing that efforts to ban or severely restrict abortion represent the views of minorities across the country. Harris pointed out that this issue could be at the heart of the campaign for Democrats next year for Congress and the presidency, saying that “the activists want to ban abortions that will criminalize reproductive health care in every state.”
Ohio’s constitutional amendment, on the ballot as Issue 1, has included more language protecting abortion access on any statewide ballot since the Supreme Court’s ruling. They don’t oppose they argued that the amendment would threaten parental rights, allow gender surgery that is not restricted to children and renew “partial-birth” abortion, which is prohibited by law.
Public voting exhibitions nearly two-thirds of Americans say abortion should be legal generally in the early stages of pregnancy, a sentiment that was echoed in both. Deeply Democratic and Republican states since the justices overturned Roe in June 2022.
Before Ohio’s vote, statewide efforts in California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana and Vermont had affirmed abortion access or rolled back efforts to undermine the right.
The number of voters in the Ohio amendment, including early voting, was strong in the off-year elections. Approval of Issue 1 would reverse a 2019 state law passed by Republicans that bans most abortions after the baby’s heartbeat is detected, with exceptions for rape and incest. That’s the law, for now caught due to court challenges, it is one of nearly two dozen abortion restrictions the Ohio Legislature has passed in recent years.
Republicans remained defiant after Tuesday’s vote. Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens said approval of Issue 1 is “not the end of the conversation.”
“As a 100% pro-life conservative, I remain strongly committed to protecting life, and that commitment is unwavering,” Stephens said. “The Legislature has many avenues we will explore to continue to protect innocent life.”
Earlier, state Senate President Matt Huffman, a Republican, suggested that lawmakers could come back with another proposed amendment next year that would postpone Prohibition 1, although they would only have a six-week window after Election Day to get it in 2024. vote.
Issue 1 specifically stated that a person has the right to “make and exercise their own reproductive decisions,” including birth control, fertility treatment, miscarriage and abortion.
It allowed the state to regulate the procedure after the operation of the fetus, as long as an exception was provided in cases where the doctor determined that the woman’s “life or health” was at risk. Viability was defined as the point at which the fetus has a “highest chance of survival” outside the womb, with reasonable intervention.
Anti-abortion groups, with the help of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, tested various messages to try to defeat the amendment, mainly focusing on the idea that the proposal was too much for the government. The supporters’ campaign focused on the message that the government should not interfere in the private affairs of families.
The latest vote followed an August special election called by the Republican-controlled Legislature that was intended to make future constitutional changes more difficult to pass by raising the threshold from a simple majority vote to 60%. That proposal was aimed in part at undermining the abortion rights measure decided on Tuesday.
Voters, he lost a lot of that special election question, setting the stage for a high-profile abortion campaign.