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What Issue 1 Does & Does Not

By Nickie J. Antonio
November 1, 2023
The Democratic Standard

By now, I am sure you’ve heard a lot about Issue 1, which will be on the ballot this November 7. 

It can be hard to cut through the noise and figure out exactly what Issue 1 does and doesn’t do. In The Democratic Standard, we prefer to stick to the facts, so here are a few.

Issue 1 does guarantee the right for someone to make their own reproductive health decisions in our state. Yes, this includes abortion, but we often leave out the other important things Issue 1 protects: everything from contraception to fertility treatments to miscarriage care.

Issue 1 does not give free rein for individuals to have abortions at any time. It allows the state to ban abortion after the point of fetal viability, except when necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.

Issue 1 also does define fetal viability – it doesn’t create a Wild West scenario where pregnant people can have so-called “abortions on demand.” We already know most abortions performed after the point of fetal viability are wanted pregnancies, not people abruptly deciding after six months they don’t want to be pregnant anymore.

Issue 1 does not affect parental rights. There is nothing in the amendment that mentions parental rights at all. We already have a slew of laws that distinguish the rights of minors from adults; Issue 1 would not impact those in any way. In fact, Ohio’s six-week abortion ban is what violates parental rights. It forced a 10-year-old rape victim’s parents and family to travel to Indiana because it was illegal for her to receive care here in Ohio. It prevented them from making the decision that was best for their daughter, and without Issue 1, it could become the law of the land again.

Issue 1 does reflect the view of a majority of Ohioans. 58% support enshrining reproductive rights into the Ohio Constitution. 2 out of 3 Ohioans oppose a 6-week ban, and 84% of Ohioans support exceptions for rape and incest.

Issue 1 does not come from out-of-state special interest groups. It comes from the hundreds of local organizations, 4,000 Ohio doctors and medical professionals, clergy, and over 700,000 Ohio voters who put this amendment on the ballot.

Issue 1 does do what is right for Ohio. It protects your personal freedom and allows you to decide who you want to have control over your medical care: you or the government. Please join me in voting YES on Issue 1 on or before November 7.

Read the full language of Issue 1 here.