Ohio Passes Constitutional Amendment Protecting Abortion Access
Voters in Ohio approved Issue 1, a ballot initiative that enshrines access to abortion and other reproductive health care into the state's constitution. The measure was hard-fought leading up to Election Day and is the latest example of a majority of voters supporting abortion rights since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ohio Voters Enshrine Abortion Access In Constitution In Latest Statewide Win For Reproductive Rights
Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment on Tuesday that ensures access to abortion and other forms of reproductive health care, the latest victory for abortion rights supporters since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year. Ohio became the seventh state where voters decided to protect abortion access after the landmark ruling and was the only state to consider a statewide abortion rights question this year. “The future is bright, and tonight we can celebrate this win for bodily autonomy and reproductive rights,” Lauren Blauvelt, co-chair of Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, which led support for the amendment, told a jubilant crowd of supporters. (Smyth, 11/7)
Biden Touts Passage Of Ohio Abortion Measure: ‘Democracy Won’
President Biden released a statement following Ohio voters passing a ballot measure enshrining abortion protection in the state constitution. “Tonight, Americans once again voted to protect their fundamental freedoms – and democracy won,” Biden’s statement said. “Ohioans and voters across the country rejected attempts by MAGA Republican elected officials to impose extreme abortion bans that put the health and lives of women in jeopardy, force women to travel hundreds of miles for care, and threaten to criminalize doctors and nurses for providing the health care that their patients need and that they are trained to provide,” Biden’s statement said. (Irwin, 11/7)
The Washington Post:
Exit Poll Results From Ohio Issue 1 Ballot Measure On Abortion Rights
Age was a major dividing line, with young voters overwhelmingly voting yes on Issue 1 while middle-aged and older voters were more divided. A 77 percent majority of voters under age 30 voted yes on Issue 1, along with 68 percent of voters ages 30 to 44. A slim 53 percent majority of voters ages 45 to 64 voted yes, while a similar share of those 65 and older voted against it. (Zakharenko, Guskin and Clement, 11/7)
Issue 1 Passed. Now What?
Some laws will become invalidated. These include the Heartbeat Act which restricted abortions at the detection of a heartbeat, usually around six weeks. It also includes the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization. ... The 24-hour waiting period and informed consent will now be waived. Previously, doctors were to meet with a pregnant woman a day before the abortion to explain the procedure and deliver social services information. Ohio law previously regulated methods of abortion, barring dilation and evacuation, outlined in Ohio laws as “dismemberment abortions” as well as dilation and extraction abortions, which Ohio law calls “partial-birth feticide.” Limits against funding abortions or providers may be challenged. Ohio law currently bars taxpayer money from being used to pay for abortions. Limits against funding for elective fertility treatments may also be challenged. Currently, Ohio’s Medicaid program does not cover artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization. Under Isse 1, it is possible this could be considered a form of discrimination. (Pearson, 11/7)
Abortion Rights Backers Extend Post-Dobbs Winning Streak In Ohio
With the amendment approved, conservatives fear that Ohio will follow Michigan, which is now debating rolling back some abortion restrictions following passage of its own referendum in 2022. But the balance of power in Ohio is vastly different from Michigan, and the odds of stripping away abortion restrictions are slim even in the wake of the measure’s passage. The Ohio state legislature is likely to keep its Republican supermajority for the foreseeable future after maps favoring GOP lawmakers were approved earlier this year. The state’s supreme court is also dominated by conservatives. And even in Michigan, where Democrats control the legislature and governor’s mansion, the party was unable to advance some of its top abortion rights priorities — including abolishing the state’s waiting period and banning Medicaid coverage of the procedure. (Ollstein, 11/7)
KFF Health News:
Ohio Voted On Abortion. Next Year, 11 More States Might, Too.
As activists parse the results of Tuesday’s vote to protect abortion rights in Ohio, Jamie Corley is already well on her way to putting a similar measure in front of Missouri voters next year. Corley, a former Republican congressional staffer, filed not one, but six potential ballot measures in August to roll back her state’s near-total ban on abortion, triggered by the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision to end federal protections for terminating pregnancies. (Sable-Smith, 11/8)
Ohio voters also voted to legalize recreational marijuana —
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer:
Ohio Becomes 24th State To Legalize Marijuana For Recreational, Adult Use
Ohioans voted to legalize recreational marijuana Tuesday, potentially setting up cannabis sales in dispensaries for adult use by late 2024. The Associated Press declared that the proposal, state Issue 2, passed just after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday as the proposed state law was winning with more than 55% of the vote. With its passage, Ohio is now the 24th state to legalize recreational marijuana. (Hancock, Pelzer and Zuckerman, 11/7)
Ohio Issue 2, Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Use, Has Passed. What Happens Next?
Under the new law, adults 21 and over may buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and grow plants at home. A 10% tax on purchases will go toward administrative costs, addiction treatment, municipalities with dispensaries, and social equity and jobs programs. ... The measure will take effect 30 days after Election Day. It also goes into a rule-making and planning phase. (11/7)