Pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrators gather outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on June 24. — AFP Ohio has emerged as the newest hotspot in the country’s fight over access to abortion since the US Supreme Court struck down a constitutional right to the procedure last year, NPR reported.
A constitutional amendment that would ensure women’s access to an abortion and other reproductive healthcare options is up for vote.
Ohio is the only state debating a statewide abortion rights question this year, which has fueled months of deceptive advertising and social media messaging, tens of millions of dollars in campaign expenditure, and raucous demonstrations in favour and against the amendment.
When proponents of abortion rights intend to place ballot proposals on the ballot in many more states, including Arizona, Missouri, and Florida, in 2024, both proponents and opponents of the practice will be observing the results for indications of voter attitude. Strong voting participation occurred early.
According to nationwide polls, almost two-thirds of Americans believe that abortion should be permitted up to the first trimester of pregnancy. This view has been strengthened in six states after the Supreme Court’s June 2022 ruling to overturn Roe v Wade.
Voters in Democratic and Republican states alike, including California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, and Vermont, have either upheld access to abortion or thwarted efforts to curtail it.
Issue 1, an Ohio constitutional amendment, would overturn a Republican-passed state legislation in 2019 that outlaws most abortions after around six weeks of pregnancy, with the exception of rape and incest. This bill is one of over twenty abortion restrictions that the Ohio Legislature has approved recently; it is presently on hold due to judicial challenges.
The freedom to “make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions,” which includes choosing birth control, fertility treatments, miscarriage, and abortion, is expressly stated in Issue 1.
After fetal viability, the state is still able to control the process as long as there are provisions for situations when a doctor finds the woman’s “life or health” is in danger.
When a fetus has “a significant likelihood of survival” outside the womb with appropriate therapies, it is said to be viable.
The amendment’s phrasing, according to anti-abortion groups, is too broad and advances a number of unproven legal ideas regarding its effects. In an attempt to overturn their defeats in statewide elections, they have attempted a range of messaging, branding the amendment as “anti-parent” and cautioning that it would let children seek gender-transition procedures or abortions without parental permission.