Under R.C. 3505.062(A), Ohio law tasks the Ohio Ballot Board with determining whether ballot initiatives to amend the Ohio Constitution consist of only a single amendment. If an initiative petition is not a single amendment, then the Ohio Ballot Board must divide the petition into multiple petitions each containing a single amendment. “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety Amendment” is such an initiated petition, and seeks to enshrine the right to reproductive freedom, including the right to abortion, in the Ohio Constitution. After gaining the signed support of over 1,000 Ohio voters and determination by the Ohio Attorney General that its language is fair and truthful, the initiative petition was certified to the Ohio Ballot Board. On March 13, 2023, the Board met and unanimously decided that the initiative petition contained only one proposed amendment.

On March 20, two Relators filed a mandamus action in the Ohio Supreme Court against the Ohio Ballot Board and the sponsors of the petition. Their complaint alleges that, because in some prior rulings the Supreme Court of the United States has called abortion a “unique act” and “inherently different” from other reproductive decisions, the Ballot Board abused its discretion in finding the petition contains only a single amendment. For relief, Relators ask the Court to order the petition be divided into separate petitions.


The Ohio Ballot Board is charged with ensuring that citizen-initiated constitutional amendments are presented to voters as a single amendment per ballot issue. A proposed amendment contains only one amendment so long as all sections share “some reasonable relationship” to the same purpose.


The complaint was filed on March 20, and expedited briefing concluded on April 7. On June 1, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously decided that the Ballot Board did not abuse its discretion and “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety Amendment” initiative petition contains a single amendment.


Freda Levenson, Carlen Zhang-D’Souza, Jessie Hill; Don McTigue, Corey Colombo, Katie Street

Date filed

March 20, 2023


Ohio Supreme Court



Case number