Voters in Ohio reject GOP-backed proposal that would have made it tougher to protect abortion rights

by Chloe Baker
fokus keyword Ohio voters

Ohio residents delivered a decisive rejection on Tuesday to a GOP-endorsed proposal that would have made it more challenging to protect abortion rights by amending the state’s constitution. This move keeps the existing simple majority rule for future constitutional amendments intact, rather than raising it to a 60% supermajority, as was proposed.

Though abortion itself was not explicitly mentioned in the special election, the outcome is viewed as another blow to Republicans in Ohio, a traditionally conservative state, who are in favor of enforcing rigorous limitations on abortion. The GOP’s intent behind the summer ballot question was to thwart an upcoming citizens’ initiative in November that aims to secure abortion rights in Ohio.

Spokesperson Dennis Willard, representing the opposition campaign One Person One Vote, characterized Issue 1 as a “deceptive power grab” designed to undermine the influence of Ohio voters. He celebrated the result as a significant triumph for democracy in the state, asserting, “The majority still rules in Ohio.”

Anti-abortion rights group, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, expressed dismay at the outcome, criticizing the external funding that supported the opposition, although both sides used national groups and individuals in their campaigns.

In other states, including conservative ones like Kansas and Kentucky, voters have upheld abortion rights since last year’s Supreme Court ruling. Interest in Ohio’s special election was particularly robust, with nearly 700,000 early in-person and mail ballots cast, more than twice the usual number for a primary election.

The opposition campaign, One Person One Vote, boasted a diverse, bipartisan alliance of supporters, including voting rights, labor, faith, and community groups. The state’s existing simple majority rule since 1912 benefits Ohioans for Reproductive Rights, the group spearheading November’s abortion rights amendment.

Despite the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, voters in various states have supported ballot questions to safeguard access to abortion, usually with less than 60% support. A poll last year revealed that 59% of Ohio voters think abortion should generally be legal.

The result, coming in an August special election that was previously criticized by some Republicans as undemocratic, underscores a rare rebuff for Ohio’s GOP, which has maintained control over the state government for over a decade.

Ohio Right to Life, the principal anti-abortion group in the state and a significant advocate for the special election measure, pledged to keep battling in the autumn.

The rejection of the proposal by the voters is seen as a complex reflection of the attitudes and dynamics around abortion rights, both in Ohio and across the nation, with implications that could extend beyond the state’s borders.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Ohio voters

What was the GOP-backed proposal in Ohio that was rejected?

The GOP-backed proposal in Ohio was a measure that sought to make it more challenging to amend the state’s constitution by raising the requirement from a simple majority to a 60% supermajority. This would have indirectly affected abortion rights in the state, making it harder to protect them through constitutional amendments.

Who were the major groups involved in the opposition to Issue 1?

The opposition to Issue 1 was led by a campaign called One Person One Vote, which represented a broad, bipartisan coalition of voting rights, labor, faith, and community groups. Four living ex-governors of the state and five former state attorneys general from both parties also aligned with the opposition.

What implications does the rejection of this proposal have on abortion rights in Ohio?

The rejection keeps the existing simple majority threshold for passing future constitutional amendments, making it easier for groups like Ohioans for Reproductive Rights to advance measures protecting abortion rights. It’s seen as a significant defeat for Republicans in Ohio who favor imposing tough restrictions on abortion.

How many early votes were cast in this special election?

Nearly 700,000 early in-person and mail ballots were cast ahead of the special election, more than double the number of advance votes in a typical primary election in Ohio.

What does Ohio Right to Life plan to do following the rejection of the special election measure?

Ohio Right to Life, the state’s oldest and largest anti-abortion group and a key supporter of the special election measure, vowed to continue fighting into the fall to promote its anti-abortion stance.

More about fokus keyword Ohio voters

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Mike1991 August 9, 2023 - 7:36 am

Republicans really got a blow here… they must b reeling. But the fight isn’t over, so let’s see what happens in November

Sarah_L August 9, 2023 - 10:15 am

i agree with the decision, majority should still rule. it protects democracy and our rights. Go Ohio!

JohnDoe42 August 9, 2023 - 11:57 am

Wow this is big news for Ohio. Cant believe it happened like this. Whats next for abortion rights in other states

Tom_in_Columbus August 9, 2023 - 5:25 pm

where was this vote even announced? i didn’t hear anything bout it, how do they expect us to vote if we dont know whats going on?


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