COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — In just over two weeks, early voting begins for the November election.
There are two statewide issues on the ballot. Issue 1 is a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution about abortion and Issue 2 is a proposed law to legalize recreational marijuana for adult-use.
On each side of Issue 1, television advertisements are airing and the campaign is starting to gear up.
“The November election is one of the most important elections because it tests Ohio’s moral compass,” said Mehek Cooke, spokesperson for Protect Women Ohio, the anti-abortion coalition,.
“At every turn, extreme politicians have been trying to take away our right and mislead voters,” said Laurent Blauvelt, co-chair of Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, the abortion rights coalition.
Issue 1 asks voters to enshrine the right to an abortion, up to fetal viability, into the state’s constitution. The amendment says an abortion can be prohibited after fetal viability, but with exceptions for the life or health of the mother. That language can be read here.
Blauvelt called it “common sense,” putting “personal medical decisions” back in Ohioans’ hands. Cooke called it “radical,” saying that health is a term that is entirely too broad.
As of now, Ohio does have a six-week abortion ban — called the Heartbeat Law — on the books. That law has been halted, though, and in court for nearly one year. The Ohio Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments about the law on Wednesday.
“Voting ‘yes’ on Issue 1 is the only way to stop Ohio’s extreme abortion ban,” Blauvelt said. “A ban that does not have exceptions for rape or incest.”
“Any poll will tell you we want access, but not full-term abortions, so let’s get back to common sense regulations,” Cooke said.
If the amendment does pass in November, the legislature will not be able to reverse it. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 10.