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Ohioans Now Free To Get High Before Their Legal, Safe Abortion Care
Issue 1 passes! Go suck it, Gov. DeWine!
Ohio’s “Issue 1” ballot measure, which Republicans including Gov. Mike DeWine derided as “radical,” easily and decisively passed Tuesday, thus enshrining abortion rights in the state constitution. (Oh, recreational marijuana use is also legal now.)
Ohio Republicans — being Republicans and all — had tried to stop an abortion-rights measure from passing by proactively raising the required ballot threshold to a filibuster-like 60 percent. Poetically, the initial exit polls Tuesday night showed support for abortion rights exceeding 60 percent.
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DeWine signed Republicans’ six-week abortion ban last year. A judge later put the law on hold, but the ban nonetheless motivated abortion rights proponents to push for a ballot measure amending the state constitution.
Ohio is a state Donald Trump won overwhelmingly twice. Ohio voters even sent failed beard tender JD Vance to the Senate. Yet, Ohioans flatly rejected right-wing rhetoric around abortion. Vance himself was posting in fear on social media yesterday:
“Today is Election Day in Ohio. Vote NO on Issue 1!
There’s been a lot of lies out there from the Yes campaign. People do in fact abort healthy late term pregnancies. Issue 1 doesn’t make it illegal to have a miscarriage. Think for yourself and vote no!”
I doubt Vance comprehends the irony of that last sentence.
According to exit polls from The Washington Post, 60 percent of women and 53 percent of men voted “yes” on Issue 1. Eighty-three percent of Black voters and 73 percent of Latino voters supported the measure, but just 53 percent of white people voted “yes.” They are 85 percent of the electorate, so we’ll take it. Besides, the Black and Latino numbers mostly match how these groups voted in the 2020 and 2022 elections, but Joe Biden won just 39 percent of white voters. This would seem to disprove a long-held belief that Democrats would perform better in “red” states if they were less openly supportive of abortion. Deep-red Kansas, Kentucky, and Montana have all passed abortion-rights ballot measures.
The new Ohio amendment guarantees a constitutional right to “make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions.” This includes not just abortion but contraception, fertility treatment and miscarriage care. The state can still restrict abortion after fetal viability — generally considered after 24 weeks or the start of the third trimester — except when “necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.”
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who’s running for Senate, did his best to sabotage Issue 1. He spearheaded the August special election that would have made it more difficult to amend the state constitution, and his office purged almost 27,000 inactive voters from the rolls in late October — after early voting for the November election had already started and the deadline to reregister had passed. (These purges are straight-up voter suppression.)
He also apparently ran the Issue 1 ballot summary through the sort of double-speak trickery matrix that produces your standard demonic contract. He changed the word “fetus” to “unborn child” and removed key references to protecting non-abortion services such as contraception and fertility treatments. Forced birthers believe they win the abortion debate if they shout about killing “babies” and minimize overall reproductive health and freedom.
Ohio Republicans specifically targeted Black voters, students, and people who identify as “pro-choice” and tried to fill their heads with lies about Issue 1, but much like in Virginia, their lies weren’t working now.
Doctors and medical students advocated hard for Issue 1. They appeared in ads and even went door-to-door as part of a campaign they called “house calls.” Simultaneously terrible and adorable puns were somewhat of a theme, such as “Roe, Roe, Roe Your Vote,” but the message remained clear and consistent: Your rights are on the ballot and the only way to stop DeWine’s abortion ban is to come out and vote “yes” for Issue 1.
Ohio Republicans, of course, refuse to accept the public’s verdict and are already scheming and plotting their next move. They’ll never quit, so neither should we.
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