Ohio voters approve Issue 1 to enshrine abortion access to state constitution

OHIO — Voters passed a measure that enshrines the right to an abortion in the Ohio Constitution, the Associated Press reported.

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News Center 7 previously reported Issue 1 would “Establish in the Constitution of the State of Ohio an individual right to one’s own reproductive medical treatment,” according to the ballot language.

More than 2 million Ohioans voted in favor of the measure with 100% of the vote now reported, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.

57% of the voters approved Issue 1 while 43% opposed it.

News Center 7′s Xavier Hershovitz is reporting live from the Montgomery County Board of Elections this morning during News Center 7′s Daybreak.

>>PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Ohio voters pass Issue 1 on abortion access

He says the next step will be for the board of elections to begin canvassing the election. It must be done by November 28.

News Center 7 spoke with election experts Tuesday night, and they said Issue 1 will take effect as soon as the canvassing is complete because of the way it was written.

Hershovitz says Ohio is now the seventh state in the country where voters decided to protect abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade back in June 2022.

When that happened, Ohio’s Heartbeat law went into effect.

It essentially outlawed abortion after a heartbeat is detected which is around six weeks.

>>RELATED: State leaders, organizations react to Ohio Issue 1 passing

Issue 1 supporters said winning was their only option.

“This campaign came together last year because we lost access because there was a dangerous abortion ban in Ohio patients and families were being harmed and lives were put at risk,” said Lauren Blauvelt, Co-chair of the Ohioan’s United for Reproductive Rights. “There was no choice. We had to win. We had to end the ban. Winning was our only option and we did it together.”

“Individuals and women should be able to make choices about their reproductive health care,” Jen Perez, Ohio Program Director of Red, Wine, & Blue, told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell. “These are very personal decisions and that we should keep government and politicians out of those decisions.”

Those who opposed Issue 1 expressed their concerns.

“I’m worried that there are going to be fewer kids who are going to enjoy life and be able to experience the gift of life because of this issue that’s now in the constitution,” said Miami Valley Congressman Jim Jordan.

Margie Christie, the executive director for Dayton Right to Life, told News Center 7 on Tuesday night that the passage of Issue 1 makes their battle more difficult.

“We are probably going to have an increase in women needing help and protection,” she said. “That’s going to increase our workload quite a bit and it will be a challenge.”

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Hershovitz says Issue 1 was a proposed amendment to the state constitution.

It means the legislature cannot make changes to this law as it is now part of the state constitution.

The amendment will become effective 30 days after the election on Dec. 7.

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