Columbus, OH – Today, Ohioans voted overwhelmingly to enshrine reproductive freedom in the state constitution by passing The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety amendment. This is an historic victory for Ohioans, who, through a citizens’ initiative, overcame obstacles imposed by their own state government, and voted to protect the right to make their own personal medical decisions regarding pregnancy, abortion, contraception, miscarriage care, and fertility treatment.
Continuing an undefeated streak of states’ protecting reproductive freedom at the polls since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Ohio’s victory stops the state’s extreme abortion ban. The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety amendment will be officially added to the state constitution in 30 days.
Statement from J. Bennett Guess, executive director at the ACLU of Ohio: “This is a critically important and impressive victory for the people of Ohio. We have finally enshrined the explicit right to abortion care, miscarriage care, contraception, fertility treatments, and the right to continue your pregnancy into our state constitution. Once again, the people have shown that we will not put up with anti-abortion politicians banning access to abortion. It is your body, your rights, without the threat of extremist politicians getting in the way any longer.
“During a time where attacks on democracy are coming from all directions, Ohioans showed up to bring power back to the people. This was not only a victory for reproductive freedom, but a win for our democratic principles and process. It was a triumph of the people - against a state government trying to force a harmful agenda on us. It was a win for the tireless efforts of statewide, grassroots organizations. In short, it was a win for all Ohio voters who claimed their power at the ballot box. From the initial planning stages and ballot language creation, to collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures, and finally getting out the vote across the state, the ACLU of Ohio, in partnership with the Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights coalition remained steadfast in our dedication to restoring reproductive freedom in Ohio. We held our own, despite countless attacks, lies, and thwarted efforts to hinder us.
“We must now harness this momentum as we enter 2024. The next step to strengthen our democracy is to restore power to the voters by creating fair electoral maps. Just as we removed the intrusion of extremist politicians from our doctors’ offices, we must now remove partisan control of our redistricting process. Through Citizens Not Politicians, we will carry this energy into the next year to pass an amendment that will empower an independent commission rather than partisan operatives, to draw our electoral maps.”