Republican legislators are trying to change the state’s ballot initiative rules to require a supermajority for an abortion rights ballot to pass.
"Ohio voters can currently amend the state constitution by a direct vote with a simple majority (50%). If it passes this November, one such ballot initiative – brought forward by Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights and Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom – would codify the right to abortion in the Ohio constitution.
But Republicans in the Ohio house of representatives passed a proposal on 10 May that could make it much harder for that abortion rights measure to pass by requiring a supermajority (60%) vote for ballot measures. The proposal, Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR-2), is scheduled to come before voters in an August special election." - The Guardian
Understand the Republican scheme to move the goal posts to deny women their freedoms with this infographic and what you can do help #ProChoiceOhio. Click on any image for more details.
Republicans Power Grab
Supporters of the resolution were pushing for an August election to get ahead of a potential November ballot question that would enshrine abortion access in Ohio. The resolution, itself a proposed amendment, would increase the voter threshold to 60% for amendments put forward by citizens and the Legislature. It requires citizen groups to get voter signatures from all 88 counties, instead of 44, to place something on the ballot. And it would eliminate a 10-day period that petitioners are granted to replace any invalid signatures.
Democrats called the measure undemocratic and arrogant and believe it will erode the ability of Ohioans to make their voices heard. Critics have also noted that Republicans, including Secretary of State Frank LaRose, advocated for the law to limit August elections because of cost and low turnout. - Columbus Dispatch
It's all about your freedom to choose
"Even before Roe fell, abortion rights advocates contemplated a constitutional amendment to guarantee abortion access. That moment could come in November as Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights and its supporters have until July 5 to submit about 413,000 valid signatures. If they do, Ohio voters will decide whether "every individual has a right to make and carry out one's own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one's own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion."
Republicans with a supermajority in the Ohio General Assembly have attempted to thwart the amendment by calling a special August election this year with a single issue: Should constitutional amendments require the current 50% plus one vote to pass or a proposed 60%, effectively making it harder for citizen-led efforts to alter the state constitution. Some Republicans, including Ohio's top election official, concede that the August election is in direct response to the proposed abortion access issue this fall.
There was litigation challenging the August election claiming it violates Ohio law. In December, Ohio's General Assembly abolished all August special elections, with the exception of political subdivisions or a school districts that were in a fiscal emergency, claiming the low turnout didn't justify the costs. In a 4-3 ruling on Friday, the Republican-leaning court determined that lawmakers legally set an Aug. 8 election for Issue 1, allowing the August election to go forward."
Protect Choice Ohio is a non-partisan, grassroots network committed to protecting reproductive freedom in the state of Ohio. Our growing coalition of more than 2,200 Ohio doctors, allied medical professionals, business leaders, respected advocacy groups, and concerned individuals are committed to:
- Ensuring that Ohioans have access to safe, legal, equitable, and comprehensive reproductive medical care including abortion
- Enabling all people to make reproductive healthcare decisions free from government interference
Protect Choice Ohio was founded by the patient-focused advocacy group Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights (OPRR). OPRR established the Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights PAC to raise the funds needed to give the citizens of Ohio–like those in Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky, California, and Vermont–the opportunity to vote on a Constitutional Amendment that will protect reproductive freedom and abortion access.
TakeAway: Stop the Republican power grab to deny women their freedoms. #ProtectChoiceOhio
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Abortion rights groups submit 2023 ballot measure in Ohio - WTAE
Ohio to hold August election on proposal to make it harder to amend constitution - Columbus Dispatch
What Ohio voters and patients need to know about abortion in this critical election year - Akron Beacon Journal
Abortion rights advocates face test with Ohio ballot measure - The Hill
‘It destroys democracy’: Republicans bid to rewrite Ohio’s abortion rules - The Guardian