Ohio Voters Guarantee Abortion Rights in State Constitution

Ohio Voters Guarantee Abortion Rights in State Constitution


In a significant decision that drew national attention, Ohio voters have chosen to amend their state constitution, securing the right to abortion and other reproductive rights, as reported by the Associated Press.

Ohio stood out as the only state directly voting on abortion access during this election cycle, making it a crucial indicator of voters’ sentiments on abortion rights leading up to the 2024 presidential election.

This outcome further cements the winning streak of abortion rights advocates, who have strategically sought to bring the issue before voters through constitutional amendments and ballot measures following the U.S.

Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last year. Since then, abortion access has been on the ballot in seven states, with pro-choice groups prevailing in each case.

President Biden hailed the vote as a victory for democracy, emphasizing the rejection of extreme abortion bans and the protection of women’s health and access to essential care.

The passage of this amendment will effectively halt the implementation of a state law that restricts abortion when fetal cardiac activity can be detected, typically as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

A county court had placed this law on hold a year ago after doctors filed a lawsuit, arguing that it jeopardized women’s lives, even though there was an exception for cases endangering the mother’s life. 

The state had appealed this ruling to the Republican-dominated Ohio Supreme Court, which includes three justices openly opposing abortion rights.

The campaign surrounding the amendment was fiercely contested, with advertisements dominating the airwaves. Republican Governor Mike DeWine, a vocal opponent of the amendment, appeared in an ad criticizing the measure as “not right for Ohio.”

Tuesday’s vote followed an attempt by Republican lawmakers to change the state constitution in August, requiring a 60% threshold for the passage of constitutional amendments, as opposed to a simple majority. This effort did not succeed.

Consistent polling data has indicated that between 55% and 58% of Ohioans support some form of abortion rights.