COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights will file a lawsuit today with the Ohio Supreme Court challenging the recently-approved deceptive summary language for Issue 1, the reproductive freedom amendment ballot initiative, to appear on the ballot this November. The coalition is asking the court to issue a writ of mandamus directing the Ballot Board to instead adopt the full text of the amendment as the ballot language. Alternately, the court may direct the Ballot Board to correct blatant inaccuracies.
Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights spokesperson Lauren Blauvelt said, “Issue 1 was clearly written to protect Ohioans’ right to make our own personal health care decisions about contraception, pregnancy, and abortion, free from government interference. The summary that was adopted by the Ballot Board is intentionally misleading and fails to meet the standards required by Ohio law. Ohio voters deserve to see the full amendment language for Issue 1, which they can find at ReadTheAmendment.com.”
The Ohio Ballot Board, chaired by the Ohio Secretary of State, dictates the language that appears on the ballot for proposed Constitutional amendments. The Ballot Board’s duty is to adopt ballot language that “does not mislead, deceive or defraud voters.” The ballot language passed by the Ballot Board and challenged in this lawsuit does not meet that standard. Instead, the Ballot Board’s ballot language misstates the text and effect of the amendment.
Blauvelt continued, “The Ballot Board’s members adopted politicized, distorted language for the amendment, exploiting their authority in a last ditch effort to deceive and confuse Ohio voters ahead of the November vote on reproductive freedom. Voting Yes on Issue 1 will put Ohioans back in charge of our personal decisions, and stop the government from dictating what's best for our families.”
At every turn, anti-abortion extremists and politicians have demonstrated their willingness to deceive voters, abuse their authority, use political games, and even change laws to prevent Ohioans from having clear, accurate information about Issue 1. On August 8, 2023, Ohio voters soundly rejected their “power grab.”