COLUMBUS, Ohio — Buckeye voters today sent a powerful message by rejecting a brazen effort by extremists in the state legislature to undermine citizen-initiated amendments. This win clears a path for the reproductive freedom amendment to receive fair consideration in November.

"Today, Ohioans won. Ohioans saw Issue 1 for what it was — an attempt to deny our families a voice, even when it comes to our most personal decisions. Now, Ohioans will turn their focus to rejecting extremism and government control to ensure families have the freedom to make decisions that are best for them. Ohioans believe that abortion is a personal, private decision that should be up to them and their families without government meddling in their business,” said Rhiannon Carnes, spokeswoman for Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights

"This critical victory was powered by the hundreds of thousands Ohioans who have been standing up for their reproductive freedom, volunteering, talking to their neighbors, and signing our ballot petition to protect abortion rights. Ohioans know that if we don’t succeed, the government will have the power to ban abortion completely, even in cases of rape, incest, or when someone’s life is in danger. Our grassroots momentum across Ohio is constantly growing, and we will be working hard every day to ensure their voices are heard in November."

Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights and its partner organizations actively participated in the effort to defeat Issue 1. Issue 1 would have raised the threshold for passing citizen-initiated constitutional amendments from 50% of the vote plus one — the standard in effect for more than 111 years — to a 60% supermajority. Supporters of raising the threshold admitted it was placed on the ballot primarily to make it harder for Ohioans to protect their abortion rights come November.

Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights is committed to ensuring that politicians and extreme special interests can’t take away Ohioans’ vote or their freedom to make their own decisions about pregnancy and abortion.


Additional background: Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights is the non-partisan coalition that is leading the effort to pass the “Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety” citizen-initiated Constitutional Amendment in the 2023 General Election. Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights was formed by Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom and Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights in February, 2023.

On July 25, the Ohio Secretary of State announced Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights had submitted 495,938 valid signatures to place the citizen-initiated constitutional amendment on the 2023 General Election ballot. The requirement to qualify was 413,487 signatures. The signatures exceeded the state requirement in 55 counties, more than the necessary 44 county distribution.