A special election in Ohio next week will determine if Republicans’ push to protect their state against special interest groups’ abortion activism is successful.
Outside activist groups are aware of the struggles they face when trying to ram their radical abortion and anti-parent agenda through Republican-led states. Ohio, where the governorship, state legislature, secretary of state’s office, and attorney general’s office are controlled by Republicans, is no exception.
Current state law requires a simple majority, 50 percent plus one, for voter-proposed constitutional amendments to be ratified. Issue 1, which Ohio voters will settle on Aug. 8, ensures that the state’s governing document may not be so flippantly modified.
Bigger Than One Ballot Measure
Tuesday’s special election is an explicit attempt by the state GOP to prevent an outsider operation like the one executed in Kansas in 2022 from significantly changing Ohio’s political landscape on abortion, parental rights, and even guns, which Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb has already promised to target via ballot measure.
In Kansas, out-of-state donors and special interest groups that opposed a homegrown pro-life amendment raised millions to expand Midwestern abortion operations. Their deliberately deceptive practices led voters to reject a proposal that would have declared there is no constitutional right in Kansas to abortion, taxpayer-funded or otherwise.
Ohio voters are already facing their first hurdle in a similar battle.
National activist organizations like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and various LGBT groups banded together earlier this year to add a ballot proposal that would enshrine abortion up until birth in the state constitution, as well as override parental consent laws for minors seeking irreversible gender experiments.
The deliberately vague proposal would decree that “every individual has a right” to “reproductive decisions” regardless of age or trimester. Advocates and their petitioner pawns promise abortions “may be prohibited after fetal viability,” but all a woman needs to get around such a law, thanks to the proposal’s generous language, is a doctor’s opinion that she needs an abortion for the sake of her “health,” which is left open to interpretation.
In February, an attorney for the ACLU of Ohio, a member of the euphemistically-named Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom (ORF) coalition, confirmed that if their constitutional amendment passes, laws requiring parents to consent before their teen daughter gets an abortion would not necessarily be enforced.
“When you pass a constitutional amendment, it doesn’t just automatically erase everything and start over. But it would mean that laws that conflict with it cannot be enforced, should not be enforced,” Jessie Hill said.
Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, another member of the ORF coalition and proud supporter of “sex-positive, gender-expansive, and abortion positive” policies, also openly opposes parental consent legislation.
The ballot proposal won’t be up for a vote until November but is directly intertwined with the special election next week.
The Battle for Ohio
Ohio Republicans recognize the long-term consequences a proposal like the one scheduled to appear on the ballot in November would have for their state and constituents, so they passed a resolution in May that asked voters to decide this month if constitutional amendments should require a supermajority — a 60 percent threshold vote — to be ratified.
Issue 1 also asks voters to sign off on “elevating the standards” for constitutional amendments by requiring petitions “be signed by at least five percent of the electors of each county based on the total vote in the county” for the latest gubernatorial election and banning the addition of signatures to a petition after submission to the Ohio secretary of state.
For their efforts to protect their elections from external forces, the GOP government was smeared by local papers, corporate media outlets, and the groups touting the pro-abortion and gender ideology proposal. Planned Parenthood activist and ORF chair Lauren Blauvelt went so far as to accuse lawmakers of “working overtime to dismantle democracy as we know it.”
Intrastate polling yields conflicting data on how Ohioans plan to vote on Issue 1. Yet even the competing results of polls from Ohio Northern University and USA Today/Suffolk University, the latter of which was criticized for overinflating opposition to Issue 1, both acknowledge that a significant portion of voters were still undecided on the issue in the weeks preceding the election.
Pro-life and pro-parent groups in the state who have a vested interest in the November ballot proposal capitalized on this gap by rolling out millions of dollars of ads that expose the leftist campaign to transform Ohio’s constitution.
“The secret is out: Ohio has some of the weakest requirements in the country for passing constitutional amendments and greedy, out-of-state special interest groups with deep pockets know it,” Protect Women Ohio board member Molly Smith said in a statement. “That makes Ohio a prime target for radical special interest groups, like the ACLU, to parachute into the state and strip parents of their rights. Enough is enough. It’s time to pass Issue 1 and put long overdue, common-sense protections in place.”