Quick summary: Ohio’s Issue 1 would enshrine abortion into the Ohio state constitution. The most crucial volunteers fighting this are those helping with phone banks (which you can do no matter where you live) and those helping with door knocking/canvassing (which you can do if you live in or are able to travel to Ohio). Sign up to volunteer here. And, of course, if you live in Ohio, vote no on Issue 1. Read more details about the problems with Issue 1 and other ways you can help below.
Ohio’s Issue 1 is a disaster
On November 7, Ohioans will have the chance to vote on Issue 1 (“The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety”), a ballot initiative that would enshrine the right to abortion into Ohio’s state constitution.
This is a crucial battle for not only Ohio but also the country, both because people from Kentucky, Indiana, and other nearby states would travel to Ohio for abortions, and because our opposition wants to build momentum with the narrative that Americans are overall pro-abortion.
Of course, this is a lie. Supporters of Issue 1 are running ads telling Ohioans that a yes vote means they are protecting access to emergency care for miscarriages or life-threatening situations; such interpretations gloss over the fact that Ohio’s current abortion statutes already do that (see Section 2919.11 regarding missed miscarriage and Section 2919.12(C)2 regarding emergencies).
Abortion activists have to lie about the nature of these ballot initiatives, because in general Americans are very sympathetic to abortion for emergencies, and very unsympathetic to elective abortion. And the reality is these initiatives dramatically expand elective abortion.
Here’s the good news
This is a winnable fight.
First, initial polls found less than 60% of Ohioans supported Issue 1; usually at this stage in a ballot fight, the side that wants a ballot to be approved hopes for at least 60% support so they have a buffer when there’s voter attrition.
Second, the language that will appear on the ballot is modified from the language originally used for gathering signatures, and specifically the word “fetus” has been replaced with the phrase “unborn child” (see the recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling here at paragraphs 43 & 44). Research shows the more we humanize the unborn, the less inclined people are to support abortion.
Third, support for Issue 1 decreases as we talk to more voters about the full impacts of this amendment. We are already moving in the right direction.
Learn the impacts of Issue 1
Pro-life organizations and volunteers in Ohio are finding voters are not difficult to persuade. Often when they learn the full impacts of the text of the amendment, they oppose it.
Issue 1 impacts can include:
2. Eliminating health and safety standards for abortion clinics
3. Eliminating the Down Syndrome Nondiscrimination Act
4. Eliminating 24 hour waiting periods
5. Allowing elective abortion of healthy, viable fetuses under broad “health” exceptions that include not just physical health but emotional, familial, and financial wellbeing, among other factors. (More here.)
6. Allowing anyone (including abusers) to purchase abortion pills over the counter – no physician oversight required
7. Requiring abortions to be taxpayer funded
Again, when voters learn about these impacts, they oppose Issue 1. Even pro-choice voters want common sense abortion regulation.
7 ways you can help defeat Issue 1
We can win in Ohio if we can get this crucial information to enough voters. No matter where you live, you can join the fight. Let me count you the ways.
4 ways to help no matter where you live
· Tax deductible donations
· Created Equal: general fund
· Not tax deductible donations, but urgently needed as funds can be used for lobbying
· Ohio Right to Life Society, a 501c(4) organization
· Protect Women Ohio, a PAC
2. Share social media content. Some options:
· Vote No Ohio Instagram
· Toledo Pro-Life Instagram
· Cincinnati Right to Life TikTok
3. Talk to voters remotely. Discuss the full impacts of Issue 1 (listed above). You can read and share a “both sides” type summary here that touches on some of those impacts.
· Talk especially to your friends and family who live in Ohio
· Talk to people online in comment sections, discussion boards, etc. (Here is our overview of tips for making online debate worthwhile.)
4. CALL VOTERS – volunteer with the phone bank spearheaded by Created Equal. They will train you on what to say. They need more people making the pro-life case.
3 more ways to help if you live in Ohio
You can still do all of the above, plus:
2. VOTE NO ON ISSUE 1. And vote early, and encourage everyone you know to do the same. The more people vote early, the more pro-lifers can specifically focus donations, volunteer hours, and other resources on the remaining voters come election day.
3. Attend the Ohio March for Life (October 6) to show your support.
Defy abortion extremism. Get in the fight.
Moms and babies need us. Let’s go.