WASHINGTON, D.C. November 6, 2023 — Tomorrow, Ohio voters will decide the fate of abortion rights as they vote on Issue 1, a proposed constitutional amendment to protect reproductive freedom in their state. In the months leading up to this pivotal moment, voters have contended with anti-abortion forces and government officials spreading disinformation and interfering with the democratic process — even purging nearly 30,000 people from the voter rolls. Advocates remain hopeful that despite weeks of lies from people in power, Ohioans will vote in support of the amendment and keep politicians out of their personal medical decisions. See what Ohio voters are reading about the reproductive rights amendment:
“… the messaging isn’t just coming from the anti-abortion groups that oppose the constitutional amendment. It’s being promoted on the official government website of the Republican-controlled Ohio Senate. And because the source is a government website, the messaging is being prioritized in online searches for information about Issue 1, the question going before Ohio voters Nov. 7 to enshrine abortion access in the state Constitution.
“A featured snippet grabbed from the site that comes up during a Google search for Ohio Issue 1 says the measure ‘ignores Ohio’s existing exceptions for life and health of the mother in favor of establishing abortion on demand for all nine months.’ Legal and medical experts consulted by The Associated Press have called these narratives false or misleading.”
Ohio Capital Journal: Op-Ed: The DeWines are gaslighting Ohioans in their dishonest anti-Issue 1 ad
“They’re lying. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and wife Fran cut a homey anti-Issue 1 ad with warm lighting and soft music that features the couple as honest-to-goodness people with heart-felt concerns about the abortion rights amendment on the ballot Nov. 7. Then the lovely pair proceed to lie through their teeth.
“The 211-word amendment, simply titled ‘The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety,’ is pretty straightforward. Issue 1 asks voters to reinforce the right of every individual to make their own deeply personal and difficult decisions about their own bodies without politicians, anti-abortion lobbyists, the Catholic Church or the governor and wife butting in.”
The Columbus Dispatch: I am in an ad supporting Issue 1. Cruelty of ‘Christians’ opposing it is staggering
“As a pastor and friend for those facing these decisions through the years, I have walked through these choices with people. I have known people whose decision was to access abortion and continuing reproductive care.
“I believe the government should not be in the business of making decisions about reproductive rights for any of us. No matter what your gender, I believe every person I encounter, including myself, has the right and responsibility to care for their own body.”
“On Tuesday, Ohioans will vote on whether to amend the state constitution to enshrine the right to abortion. But powerful anti-abortion forces are arguing that the amendment will go beyond guaranteeing access to the procedure to imperil parents’ rights when it comes to abortion and even gender-affirming care. Experts and abortion rights supporters say these claims are spreading misinformation about the proposed amendment.
“‘It’s not about medical treatment. It’s not about gender identity. It is about reproductive freedom. It’s about abortion and other reproductive rights. It’s about adults,’ said Tracy Thomas, director of the Center for Constitutional Law at the University of Akron School of Law. ‘These are just arguments trying to say this amendment is about something that it’s not.’”
“Abortion rights supporters here have been inspired by the success of their counterparts in several states last year where abortion was on the ballot.
“Ohioans are making this decision in a state where a strict abortion ban is waiting in the wings. The law currently blocked in court bans most abortions after about six weeks and contains no exceptions for rape or incest. It briefly took effect last year after the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision overturned decades of abortion rights precedent — long enough for a 10-year-old rape victim to make national headlines after being forced to travel to neighboring Indiana for an abortion.”
The New York Times: Why the Abortion Ballot Question in Ohio Is Confusing Voters
“… the measure in Ohio is their toughest fight yet. It is the first time that voters in a red state are being asked to affirmatively vote ‘yes’ to a constitutional amendment establishing a right to abortion, rather than ‘no’ to preserve the status quo established by courts. Ohio voters have historically tended to reject ballot amendments.
“At the market hall, the group of pediatricians leading the canvass for the ‘yes’ side landed mostly on people who had heard about the amendment and supported it. One voter, Ashley Gowens, introduced herself to one of the doctors as ‘Stephanie’s mom,’ thanking him for ‘standing up for my daughter’s rights.’ Ms. Gowens worried that abortion rights supporters would be misled by the language on the ballot, or not realize they had to vote again — and differently — after the August election called by Republicans. ‘I know that it was done purposefully,’ she said. ‘The only way they could knock this down was to confuse people.’”
“Behind the ballot measure is a diverse group of activists. They are abortion providers and organizers who have fought together for decades. They are doctors who are new to organizing but feel compelled to act. They are led, in part, by people of color—a demographic historically marginalized in the reproductive rights movement. Together, they have built a powerful coalition by capitalizing on the perfect combination of preparation and timing—all while withstanding major attacks from the opposition.”
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education. www.ppfa.org