- Ohio’s special election is set to begin tomorrow and pro-life and pro-choice advocates alike told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they believed their camps would prevail at the end of the day.
- The election will determine whether or not the standards for passing a constitutional amendment become more difficult, potentially throwing a wrench in pro-choice advocates’ plans to pass an abortion amendment on the November ballot this year.
- “[W]e look forward to Ohioans sending that clear message tomorrow to the ACLU and others that are pumping millions of dollars into Ohio to try and eliminate parental rights and legalize abortion on demand until birth,” Sue Liebel, Director of State Affairs and Midwest Regional Director for SBA Pro-Life America, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Ohio is voting Tuesday on whether to increase the threshold for passing amendments, potentially affecting a bid to amend the state’s constitution to include a right to abortion, but pro-life and pro-choice advocates that spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation both said they were confident about the results of tomorrow’s election.
In February, pro-choice advocates drafted an amendment that would make abortion a constitutional right, and in May Ohio Republicans called for a special election to pass Issue 1, which would require 60% of voters’ approval to pass instead of the current simple majority, according to Axios. The polls for the special election open Tuesday and both camps on either side of the abortion debate told the DCNF that they were confident in Ohio voters. (RELATED: Dem State Rep Accused Republican Colleague Of Crying ‘Fake Tears’ During Abortion Bill Debate, Texts Show)
“We recognize that Issue 1 in Ohio safeguards Ohio’s constitution against outside groups pushing extreme amendments,” Sue Liebel, Director of State Affairs and Midwest Regional Director for SBA Pro-Life America, told the DCNF. “And we look forward to Ohioans sending that clear message tomorrow to the ACLU and others that are pumping millions of dollars into Ohio to try and eliminate parental rights and legalize abortion on demand until birth.”
“We are expecting a larger turnout than was initially considered. I went to vote yesterday for early voting and we were in line for a little over two hours,” Gabriel Mann, communications director for Pro-Choice Ohio, said to the DCNF. “There were thousands of people in line to vote with us so Ohio voters are definitely tuned in and aware of what’s going on and they are showing up to vote now. Issue 1 is a terrible idea, saddling the taxpayers with the cost of a special election is a terrible idea but as for the long-term effects, I don’t think there will be any, because we are going to defeat this tomorrow.”
Tuesday’s vote will not stop the amendment from being on the ballot in November but will make it harder to get it through the hoops necessary to pass.
Issue 1 would also require that each county in the state must make up 5% of the overall 60% of voters in order to propose an amendment for the ballot, according to the legislation. It would also eliminate the ability for petitioners to collect additional signatures after submission if some are deemed invalid.
Elizabeth Marbach, director of communications for Ohio Right to Life, told the DCNF that contrary to pro-choice arguments that Issue 1 would take away protections for Ohioans, the legislation would ensure that both the born and unborn’s “fundamental rights” are preserved.
“Passing Issue 1 and requiring broad consensus when amending our constitution would help preserve the right to life and ensure that every Ohioan’s fundamental rights are protected, whether in the womb or already born. Our liberties, beginning with the right not to be killed, should not be at stake every election. Passing Issue 1 would help Ohioans to rest, knowing that our God-given freedoms are not an election away from being stripped away.”
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced on July 25 that 413,446 of the 700,000 signatures collected by pro-choice advocates for the amendment were considered valid, putting the legislation safely above the needed threshold to put it on the ballot for Nov. 7, according to The Associated Press. Mann told the DCNF that the numbers showed citizens in the state “are eager to permanently protect abortion rights in Ohio.”
Marbach told the DCNF that the precedent set by adding an abortion amendment to Ohio’s constitution would “force” an “agenda” on Americans and would allow abortion up to birth in some cases, strip parents of parental rights and give abusers an outlet to hide their criminal behavior.
“We have seen radical ideologues abuse the ballot initiative process for years to force their agenda onto Americans in many states, from abortion to minimum wage, to climate extremism,” Marbach warned. “Protecting each state’s constitution will be vital moving forward, and we hope our efforts in Ohio encourage others nationwide to do the same.”
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