Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Victor Wembanyama on stage after being selected first overall in the 2023 NBA draft
NBA Mock Draft
Cavan Nicholas, Contributing Writer • May 27, 2024

Ohio Citizens Vote Yes to Issue 1

Attendees+Listen+to+Speakers+at+Rally+in+Norwood%2C+Ohio.+Darren+Cummings+of+AP+News%0A
Attendees Listen to Speakers at Rally in Norwood, Ohio. Darren Cummings of AP News

After the controversial overturning of Roe V. Wade, many states across the nation began restricting access to abortion. Ohio had been one of these states, enforcing a strict abortion ban for procedures that take place after a fetal heartbeat is observed, which, for the purpose of the legislature, is about six weeks after pregnancy. This six-week ban remained the status quo for much of Ohio until Sept. 14, 2022, eleven weeks after the overturning weeks of Roe V. Wade, when a judge from Hamilton County blocked the ban while courts decided on the merits of reproductive rights concerning Ohio’s state constitution. 

On November 7th, 2023, Ohio hosted a referendum in its general election that contained two issues. The first issue regarded the constitutionality of certain reproductive rights, such as abortion, and whether or not such matters should be protected under Ohio’s constitution. If voters chose ‘yes’ for issue one, it would amend Ohio’s constitution in favor of access to abortion, contraceptives, fertility, and miscarriage care. On the contrary, if voters chose ‘no’ then no further amendment would be added to the Ohio constitution. 

The vote yielded 56.6% in favor of passing issue one (roughly 2,186,962 people) to 43.4% (roughly 1,675,728 people) voting against the amendment. Pro-choice supporters of the bill have declared the outcome a momentous victory for women’s reproductive rights. Similarly, Junior Sylvia Chen was content with the new development, asserting, “I think it is important that women in these states have access to abortion and bodily autonomy so Ohio adding this to their constitution is progress I like to see.”

Opponents of the bill, mostly Ohio Republicans, have decried that the passing of the bill is a great injustice to the unborn and would bypass parental rights by allowing minors to access abortion without parental consent (though notably the new amendment still requires minors who want abortions to receive parental consent). Other opponents have refused to accept the amendment’s permanence; Senator Matt Huffman commented, “This isn’t the end. It is really just the beginning of a revolving door of ballot campaigns to repeal or replace Issue 1.” 

In the aftermath of the election, the passing would restore the practice of abortion to its former regulations before the overturning of Roe V. Wade. Specifically, it would allow residents to receive abortions up until the point of fetal viability (up until about twenty-two weeks). Junior Aaron Roberts expressed his support for the conclusion, reflecting, “it’s a step in the right direction that the rest of the country should follow. It’s inspiring to see something good like this coming from citizen initiative making a change.”

In addition, the new amendment ensures protections against abortion bans and strict abortion limitations that are in place in other states like Texas or Idaho. As of now it is still unclear the manner in which the Ohio courts will interpret the new legislation and whether or not they will undertake action to undermine the results.

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