Columbus OH — Last week, a ballot measure to guarantee reproductive rights in the Ohio constitution officially qualified for the November 2023 election. The Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights coalition submitted nearly half a million valid signatures to set up the showdown this fall over abortion rights and other forms of reproductive freedom — more than 80,000 more than were needed to qualify.

However, voters in Ohio must first consider the legislatively referred Issue 1, a proposal driven by special interests to end majority rule in Ohio, allowing just 40% of voters to block the will of the majority. If Issue 1 is passed in the August 8 special election, it would mean that the reproductive rights amendment that has already qualified could be blocked by just 40% of voters. Issue 1 follows similar anti-democracy proposals from right-wing legislators in other states including Arkansas, South Dakota, Missouri, and Arizona. 

“We are just 11 days away from a critical special election in Ohio that could determine whether majority rule will survive in Ohio. And now that a reproductive freedom amendment is on the ballot in November, voters have even more reason to turn out against Issue 1,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project. “Proponents of Issue 1 have been very clear that they fully intend to block voters from having a say on reproductive rights. The August 8 election is transparently about diminishing voter power and consolidating control by the state legislature and special interests. We stand with Ohioans against this blatant attack on direct democracy.” 

The Fairness Project is supporting the Vote No In August: One Person One Vote Campaign, which is in its final push to get out the vote during early voting and Election Day. The campaign has made the risk to reproductive rights a central part of its messaging leading up to August 8.

Additional coverage:

  • The New Republic: The Ballot Initiative Is the Next Big Front in the War Against Democracy
  • Rolling Stone: Republicans Are Torching Democracy to Deny Women Abortions
  • CBS News: Ballot measures have been critical in defending abortion rights. Now, GOP politicians want to change the rules
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