COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — New polling data is offering a glimpse at how Ohioans feel about abortion laws.
According to polling conducted by NBC4, Emerson College, and The Hill, 54.3% of voters oppose Ohio’s Heartbeat Law — which bans abortion once fetal cardiac activity is detected, typically around the sixth week of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest — while 45.7% support it.
Last month, the same survey of 1,000 likely voters found there was an exact 50%-50% split when asked the same question.
The new numbers come after a Hamilton County judge placed a preliminary injunction on that law last week.
On Wednesday, the attorney general’s office filed an appeal to that ruling.
“After consulting with the Governor’s Office, the State of Ohio this afternoon filed its notice of appeal of the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court’s preliminary injunction of the Heartbeat bill,” Ohio Attorney General David Yost’s office announced in a press release.
As these decisions are being made and Ohioans begin voting in the midterm election, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are motivated.
“We know and believe that life begins at conception,” Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) said. “And with Roe v. Wade being overturned, we now have the power in the state to ban abortion and make sure we protect the vulnerable.”
“We need to make sure that Ohioans have the right to protect family planning like birth control and contraception,” Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) said.
According to the survey, 46.4% of voters said the overturning of Roe v. Wade makes them “much more likely” to vote in the 2022 elections; 6.5% said they’re “somewhat more” likely and 43.3% said it makes “no difference.”
“It’s important because I think a woman should have the right to her own body, make her own decisions,” voter Russell Momon said.
But Powell said the Heartbeat Law didn’t go far enough.
“If we believe life begins at conception, we want to protect every life in Ohio,” Powell said. “So, we will be looking at a life at conception piece of legislation to ensure every child is protected.”
On the other side, Lepore-Hagan said Roe v. Wade needs to be codified in the Ohio Constitution and she thinks that belief will be reflected in this year’s midterm election.
“We need to push back with the same energy as is coming at us,” Lepore-Hagan said.
After the Nov. 8 election, lawmakers will be back in session where their abortion access bills could be pushed through.
According to the poll, abortion access is the third most important issue to Ohioans this fall.