Voters in Ohio yesterday approved a constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to reproductive freedom in the state constitution.
The amendment, Issue 1, establishes 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. It will allow the state to restrict abortion after fetal viability unless an abortion “is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.”
“Yesterday’s vote is yet another demonstration that the majority of Americans support reproductive rights and want abortion to remain legal and accessible,” said Elisabeth Smith, Director of U.S. State Policy & Advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “We are thankful to Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, who worked tirelessly on the ground to make sure Ohioans clearly understood that they were voting to protect reproductive freedom.”
In recent months, the Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights campaign defended Issue 1 from several attacks by anti-abortion state officials who tried to prevent the amendment from being placed on the ballot and perpetuated misinformation about the amendment. In August, Ohio voters soundly defeated a measure that would have required any constitutional amendment to pass with at least 60% of votes instead of a simple majority, and in September, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge that sought to remove the amendment from the ballot. The Court did, however, allow misleading language to remain that could have prejudiced voters against the amendment.
Abortion on the Ballot: Seven Victories, No Losses
Since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022, abortion-related ballot initiatives have been on the ballot in seven states—and in all seven states, voters sided in favor of abortion rights. Voters in four of those states, including Ohio, approved proactive constitutional amendments enshrining reproductive freedom in their state constitutions.