In a significant electoral event, Ohio’s special election on Tuesday laid the groundwork for an anticipated vote on the state’s abortion laws.
Scripps News engaged in an enlightening conversation with Dr. Jennifer Lincoln about the potential repercussions of this special election on the fate of abortion rights in Ohio, which are up for debate later in the year.
In a noteworthy move, Ohioans voted against Issue 1. This proposal sought to increase the vote percentage necessary for modifying the Ohio state constitution. Had it been approved, a hefty 60% voter support would have been mandatory for any constitutional amendments. This is a marked increase from the present law, which only mandates a simple majority.
Many interpreted this vote as an early indication of public sentiment regarding abortion rights in Ohio. A definitive decision on this contentious issue is set to take place in November.
For Dr. Lincoln and numerous other abortion rights advocates, the results of the Tuesday election stand as a preliminary triumph.
“We don’t have a whole lot to be excited about and be thankful about in the abortion world. It’s been a very rough year,” Lincoln said. “We had the feelings going into this. And we were optimistic, of course, cautiously optimistic. But we knew that if voters turned out, what the result would be and we saw that. 57% of voters said that they did not want to have this change in the ballot measure.”
“The right says that this is really to prevent any sort of ballot measure issue in the future, but truly even the secretary of state acknowledged that this was 100% about abortion,” Lincoln said. “And we know that when it’s on the ballot, it wins, and this makes sense because 64% of Americans disagreed with what happened in the Supreme Court in June of last year.”
“Especially Gen Z turned out in a big way in this election,” Lincoln said. “And if they show up, we’ll be okay. We just need to keep our foot on the gas pedal so people know November is a big deal. Not only for this election but in all elections moving forward.”