Ohio’s 2023 general election is set for Nov. 7.
The most contentious item on the ballot for the state’s major political parties is Issue 1. Issue 1 is a proposed amendment that would enshrine reproductive rights, including the right to abortion, in the state constitution.
After Roe v. Wade was repealed in 2022, a law banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected went into effect in Ohio.
Meigs County Republican Party Chair and former state representative Jimmy Stewart said that the party still stands by that law. “The Republican argument against it is, I think, that the legislature has already dealt with this issue with the legislation, also known as the heartbeat bill, that was passed a couple of years go,” Stewart said.
That law is currently under litigation in the Ohio Supreme Court, leaving the future of abortion law in the state up in the air.
Washington County Democratic Chair Willa O’Neill said that the heartbeat law needs changing because it doesn’t allow abortions even in cases of rape and incest. “I find that to be totally unacceptable and to an extreme that I don’t want to see this state move to,” O’Neill said.
O’Neill said the constitutional amendment proposed by Issue 1 is necessary to settle the issue for good.
“I think it needs to be enshrined in the constitution so that with each change of an administration, it can’t become an issue over and over and a battle that we then have to fight consistently,” she said.
Stewart said that he doesn’t see Issue 1 settling the abortion debate in the state.
“I also don’t expect that, no matter how it turns out this fall, that this will be the last time there’ll be an abortion related issue up for a vote in Ohio,” Stewart said.
Ohioans will also vote on Issue 2 in November. Issue 2 would legalize the use of marijuana by people aged 21 or older. Neither state political party has taken an official position on Issue 2.
Source : Wtap