President Joe Biden’s Administration, which is pro-abortion, is jubilant at Issue 1's defeat in the special election in Ohio.
After Ohioans rejected Issue 1, which would have increased the threshold for approving state constitution amendments from 50 percent plus one to 60 percent, the White House released a statement late Tuesday night. While many topics would have been affected by that amendment, it was mostly seen as a proxy conflict around abortion in Ohio. Issue 1's success would have complicated left-wing campaigners' efforts to promote abortion on demand. Ohioans will decide in November whether to incorporate a radical abortion referendum item into the state constitution.
“Today, Ohio voters rejected an effort by Republican lawmakers and special interests to change the state’s constitutional amendment process,” the White House statement reads. “This measure was a blatant attempt to weaken voters’ voices and further erode the freedom of women to make their own health care decisions. Ohioans spoke loud and clear, and tonight democracy won.”
When 39% of the ballots had been counted, The Washington Post declared victory. As of Wednesday, with the majority of the votes recorded, 57 percent of Ohioans had voted “no,” and 43 percent had voted “yes” on Issue 1. At that time, 60.5 percent of Ohioans had voted “no,” and 39.5 percent had voted “yes.”
In addition, instead of the present threshold of 44 signatures, if the referendum had passed, citizens who wanted to put an amendment on the ballot would have had to gather signatures from at least 5% of voters from the most recent gubernatorial election throughout all 88 Ohio counties. Moreover, the ten-day cure signature period would not have existed.
Issue 1's proponents claimed that the amendment would have shielded out-of-state special interest groups from Ohio's constitution. The abortion initiative's left-wing backers, who also opposed Issue 1, saw the amendment as an attempt to thwart their plans for abortion-on-demand in the state. To change their bylaws, however, many coalition members' own constitutions call for supermajorities.
In order to convince a simple majority of Ohioans to either protect the unborn or establish the “right” to end the lives of the unborn in the state constitution, pro-life and pro-abortion groups are now looking ahead to the November election.
The abortion ballot initiative's opponents are urgently warning that if it passes, parental rights will be drastically reduced, abortion will be available on demand, and even minors will be able to undergo sex-change treatments. Significantly, the members of the left-wing coalition who are supporting the proposal have long fought to repeal parental engagement rules.
The abortion ballot initiative's phrasing is quite general and refers to each “person” without distinguishing between minors and adults.
It says that “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.”
Under the amendment, the state would also not be permitted to:
“…directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against either an individual’s voluntary exercise of this right or a person or entity that assists an individual exercising this right, unless the state demonstrates that it is using the least restrictive means to advance the individuals health in accordance with widely accepted and evidence-based standards of care.”
“Sadly, attacks on state constitutions are now the national playbook of the extreme pro-abortion Left,” leading pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America said in a statement. “That is why everyone must take this threat seriously and recognize progressives will win if their opponents are scared into submission by the pro-abortion Left.”
“So long as the Republicans and their supporters take the ostrich strategy and bury their heads in the sand, they will lose again and again,” it concluded.