Proposed abortion amendment sparks debate ahead of November general election

Ohio voters will vote on Issue 1, an amendment that seeks to enshrine reproductive rights into the Ohio Constitution, this November—and debate is alive. 

The amendment, titled “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety,” states that every individual has the right to make and act on their own reproductive decisions, from contraception, fertility treatment, continuing the pregnancy, miscarriage care and abortion. 

The second provision of the proposed amendment outlines that the state shall not, indirectly or directly, interfere with an individual’s voluntary exercise of this right.

If Issue 1 passes, abortion could still be prohibited after fetal viability, the point when the fetus has a significant likelihood of surviving outside of the uterus with reasonable measures, as determined by the pregnant woman’s physician. 

Issue 1 made the November ballot after petitioners submitted over 495,000 valid signatures from Ohioans in August.

Discussion on abortion has been no stranger to CSU campus grounds, with demonstrations from outside groups and events planned by student organizations. 

For example, the CSU Advocates for Life student organization recently held an outreach event in the courtyard with the anti-abortion nonprofit Created Equal to “raise awareness on abortion” and advise against Issue 1.  Students reacted strongly to the messaging and imagery displayed.

The Center for Bioethical Reform, another anti-abortion organization, also organized a large-scale demonstration in the courtyard, comparing abortion to genocide.

Issue 1 closely follows a special election in August to decide on a previous Issue 1, which would have required a 60% majority to pass a new constitutional amendment in Ohio, instead of a simple majority. Ohioans voted against the August Issue 1, maintaining the simple majority of 50% plus one needed to pass a constitutional amendment.

Oct. 10 is the deadline to register to vote for the November general election. Early in-person voting in the November general election, including the Issue 1 proposed amendment, begins Oct. 11.

Election Day is Nov. 7.

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