Almost seventeen months after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the United States Supreme Court, reproductive medical treatment and freedom will now be enshrined into the Ohio Constitution with the passage of Issue 1.
Rights Outlined in the Amendment
Also included are legal protections for persons or entities assisting those receiving reproductive medical treatment, including abortion.
The State can still ban abortion before fetal viability, unless the treating physician determines that abortion is necessary to protect the pregnant individual’s life or health.
Months of Debate
During a special election in August, Ohioans preserved simple majority rule and the process of constitutional amendments in Ohio, where 50% of the vote, plus one vote, passes an issue, rather than the proposed 60% of the vote. This paved the way for the passing of Issue 1 tonight.
After the special election, the debate over Issue 1 only intensified.
In the Cleveland State courtyard, student group Advocates for Life invited an anti-abortion nonprofit, Created Equal, to inform students about abortion. Created Equal urged the CSU community not to pass Issue 1.
Other students disagreed, with one student, Joseph Nappi, sharing his opinion on why he, as a Catholic, supports reproductive freedom, including abortion, and Issue 1.
The passage of Issue 1 protects Ohioans from abortion bans as severe as the previously indefinitely blocked “Heartbeat Bill.”
The State may “prohibit an abortion after an unborn child is determined by a pregnant woman’s treating physician to be viable and only if the physician does not consider the abortion necessary to protect the pregnant woman’s life or health,” according to the Amendment.
Ohio joins Kansas, California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana and Vermont, as each of the six had passed abortion protection amendments or prohibited restrictions on abortion prior to the November election.
Issue 1 will become effective 30 days after Election Day.