Abortion rights amendment approved for Ohio’s November ballot, promises tumultuous fight this fall

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio voters will get a chance to decide whether to guarantee access to abortion in the state, setting up a volatile fight filled with emotional messages and competing factual claims.

State officials said Tuesday that the ballot measure will be taken Change the state constitution There were enough signatures. It would establish a “fundamental right to reproductive freedom” with “reasonable limitations”. In language like a constitutional amendment Michigan voters approved it last NovemberRestrictions beyond the viability of an extrauterine fetus at the 24th week of pregnancy are based on evidence of patient health and safety benefits, Roe v. Wade was substandard.

“Every person deserves respect, dignity and the right to make reproductive health decisions, including their own pregnancy, miscarriage care and abortion, free of government interference,” said Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights executive committee members Lauren Blauvelt and Dr. Lauren Beene said in a statement.

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose determined that Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights had submitted nearly 496,000 valid signatures, the 413,446 needed to put the question before voters on Nov. 7. alliance Submitted over 700,000 signatures In total.

It remains to be seen what percentage of Ohio voters will support passage of the amendment. It depends on a decision August 8 special election by statehouse Republicans To decide whether to raise the threshold for passing future constitutional changes to a 60% majority from the simple majority in place since 1912. An AP VoteCast poll last year found 59% of Ohio voters said abortion should be legal.

The August ballot measure would eliminate a 10-day cure period for citizen-led campaigns to submit additional signatures if they fall short for the first time, and increase the number of counties from 44 to 88 where signatures must be collected. But those rules will come too late to affect the abortion issue, which already faces both. legally And administrative There are now barriers to voting.

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Abortion is legal in the state up to 20 weeks of pregnancy A judge’s order Prohibitions have been prosecuted if cardiac activity is detected or within six weeks of pregnancy, which is before many women even know they are pregnant. There is a Republican Attorney General asked the Ohio Supreme Court To break the stay.

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Ohio’s anti-abortion network has signaled it is ready to fight the November proposal, promising a vigorous and well-funded opposition campaign.

The program joins others across the country spurred by last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling Overturning Roe v. Wade And the nationwide right to abortion was once protected, leaving abortion policy to individual states.

In the first statewide test following that decision, Kansas voters Strongly guarded Abortion rights last August. In November, five other states — California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana and Vermont — either enshrined abortion rights in their constitutions or rejected constitutional restrictions on the practice.

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