Voters enshrine abortion rights in the Ohio constitution

Posted on November 15, 2023

In Ohio’s November 2023 General Election, Issue 1, a citizen-led initiative for abortion rights, was approved by a margin of 57-to-43 percent. This ballot measure amends the state constitution, which was the only way to guarantee abortion access with a very conservative governor and legislature.

The constitutional amendment, titled “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety,” establishes “an individual right to one’s own reproductive medical treatment,” including to make decisions on abortion, contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, and miscarriage care. It protects any person or entity that helps a patient receive reproductive medical treatment and prohibits Ohio from “directly or indirectly burdening, penalizing or prohibiting abortion” before viability, generally considered to be between 22 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. The patient’s physician is granted the authority to determine “on a case-by-case basis,” whether the fetus is viable and abortions will be allowed at any stage of pregnancy if necessary to protect the life or health of the mother.

Earlier this year, Ohio Republicans attempted to raise the threshold for approving changes to the state constitution, which would have made the approval of Issue 1 more difficult. They called a Special Election in August to propose a constitutional amendment that would have required future constitutional amendments to win at least 60% of voters. But Ohio voters rejected that by a margin of 57-to-43 percent, not coincidentally the same as the winning margin for Issue 1 in November.

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2022, there have been eight statewide referenda on abortion (including both August and November in Ohio), and abortion rights advocates have won all of them. Simultaneously, abortion rights have become an effective battle-cry for progressive candidates across the nation. Democrats probably took full control of the Virginia legislature, and increased their control of the New Jersey legislature, because of the abortion issue.

In 2024, abortion rights will be on statewide ballots in New York and Maryland, and efforts are underway in several more states, including Arizona and Florida.

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How governors have used executive orders to protect abortion rights

Posted on August 8, 2023

The following is the appendix from an excellent Guttmacher Institute Policy Analysis, July 2023 May 25, 2022 • MICHIGAN (Executive Directive 2022-5) Protection from out-of-state investigations Other directives or protections: State agencies must evaluate...

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Abortion rights constitutional amendments coming in 2023-24

Posted on May 31, 2023

In 2022, in all six states where the abortion issue was on the ballot in 2022, the pro-abortion rights position won. Three of those were constitutional amendments to protect abortion rights: In California: The legislature placed...

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Abortion rights victories in late 2022

Posted on November 29, 2022

Victories in California The Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance that prohibits any Crisis Pregnancy Center from misrepresenting the health services it offers, including lies about abortion services, and provides individuals legal recourse...

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The many unknowns now that Roe is overturned

Posted on June 29, 2022

The Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade created numerous grave legal issues. Here are some of them: Can individuals be prosecuted for having an abortion? It depends. Whether or not to prosecute will...

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Proactive abortion rights victories in 2022

Posted on May 17, 2022

Preparing for the upcoming disaster of SCOTUS overruling Roe v. Wade, many blue states have taken action to strengthen abortion rights. All of the following were passed in 2022: Statutory and constitutional protections for...

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Where abortion will be illegal if Roe is overturned

Posted on April 1, 2022

From Stateline using Guttmacher reports:

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New Jersey passes bill to guarantee the right to abortion

Posted on January 11, 2022

The bill, NJ SB 49 (2022), will soon be signed into law. The key language is this: Every individual present in the State, including, but not limited to, an individual who is under State...

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Abortion Rights Enacted in 2021

Posted on October 4, 2021

There were not many proactive abortion rights bills enacted in the 2021 legislative sessions, but a few of them are terrific models for other states. Colorado SB 142 by Sen. Kerry Donovan The state...

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How to talk about abortion rights

Posted on September 8, 2021

According to the latest polling (Sept. 4-7 by YouGov – see page 101), by a margin of 50 to 28 percent, Americans want the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade. Gallup, which asks the question a bit...

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