What is going on in OHIO?

Two major constitutional initiatives are taking place in Ohio.  Concerning reproductive justice, in November, Ohio voters will decide whether to amend the Ohio state constitution to legalize abortion.

A "yes" vote supports amending the Ohio Constitution to:

  • establish a state constitutional right to "make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions," including decisions about abortion, contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care, and continuing pregnancy;
  • prohibit the state of Ohio from interfering with this constitutional right, except when the state demonstrates "that it is using the least restrictive means to advance the individual's health in accordance with widely accepted and evidence-based standards of care;"
  • allow the state to restrict abortion after fetal viability, defined as "the point in a pregnancy when, in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient's treating physician, the fetus has a significant likelihood of survival outside the uterus with reasonable measures;" and
  • prohibit the state of Ohio from banning abortion when, in the professional judgment of a physician, an abortion "is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health."

A "no" vote opposes amending the Ohio Constitution to establish the constitutional right to "make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions."

A second potentially EVEN MORE IMPORTANT initiative is taking place this August to change the Ohio constitution to require citizen-led constitutional amendments to get a 60% vote instead of a simple majority that is required since 1912. The only other states requiring a 60% threshold are Illinois and Florida. Many surmise that if this passes in Ohio, other states under GOP control will try to use the same tactics

What You Need To Know: 

This  constitutional amendment  would make the Reproductive Rights Amendment more difficult to pass. While it is believed that 59% of Ohio voters support some type of abortion access, it would take 60% to  legalize abortion in the Ohio constitution.

 Further, a "yes" vote also would require initiative petitions proposing a constitutional amendment to be signed by at least 5% of the electors in all of Ohio's 88 counties. And it would also remove the 10-day period for petitioners to gather more signatures for a constitutional amendment if it's determined that they didn't file enough valid signatures. 

A "no" vote would uphold the status quo, which requires a simple majority from voters to  approve a constitutional amendment. It also would keep current rules regarding initiative petitions that require signatures from 44 counties instead of 88. And it would keep the 10-day "cure" period if it's determined the petitioners didn't file enough valid signatures.  

IF YOU VOTE IN OHIO, vote no in Ohio on August 8th! Go to www.votefromabroad.org to secure your ballot for upcoming elections.