On Tuesday, Ohio experienced a devastating defeat when voters approved a radical ballot measure that will enshrine abortion into their state constitution. It was arguably the most important vote on abortion since the reversal of Roe vs. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson in June of 2022 because of the state’s super pro-life majorities in the Ohio Legislature and among their state-wide elected officials.
Their popular Republican Governor Mike DeWine came out boldly against Issue 1, urging Ohioians to vote no because it “went too far” and would allow young girls to have secret abortions without their parents knowing.
On their ballot, a yes vote to the amendment would only allow restrictions on abortion at the point of fetal viability, except in cases to protect the life and health of the mother. This may have swayed voters that do not have extensive knowledge of abortion jurisprudence.
In Roe’s 1973 companion case, Doe vs. Bolton the United States Supreme Court set a similar broad “health of the mother” exception to permit abortion for any reason. This exception language on their ballot means that abortion will be legal virtually up until birth in Ohio.
56.6 percent of their citizens voted yes indicating that even though Roe is no longer the law of the land, abortion culture still reigns supreme in some places across the country. Surprisingly too, more Ohioians voted for abortion than for the legalization of marijuana. Of course, a component to why we lost is that pro-life advocates were out-spent by the well-funded abortion lobby.
However, pro-life groups across the country really pulled together and contributed, both financially and with their time. National and state pro-life organizations spent an impressive 29.8 million dollars. Louisiana Right to Life also contributed financially and through phone banking.
The question still remains how did this happen in Ohio? The simple but grim answer is that our culture has been so saturated by pro-abortion rhetoric for the last 50-years. Thousands upon thousands of women have believed the lie that in order to obtain freedom, their preborn children have to die and without abortion access they might die too. Here are a few takeaways from the defeat.
We need to be praying earnestly for our pro-life friends in Ohio. They must be devastated today. They worked tirelessly for so long to defeat this measure. Even though they lost, they put up a strong fight against the abortion machine that descended on Ohio.
The results are a stark reminder of the intense well-funded opposition to life that is still plaguing this nation. This evil is too often willing to color outside the lines of the truth to accomplish their goal. Ad after ad in Ohio misled voters by telling them that, if Issue One didn’t pass, women would die from back-alley abortions, miscarriages, and so much more. They played on the fears of citizens in Ohio.
50 years of Roe v. Wade and unfettered abortion access led to thousands upon thousands of people who’ve had abortions or have been involved in abortions. We can’t forget this fact. When an entire state goes to vote on abortion, people’s past decisions come to the forefront of their mind.
We simply have so much more to do to change hearts and minds when it comes to abortion. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Pro-Life citizens, churches, communities, schools, etc… could have done better over the past 50 years to instill a respect for human life in the hearts of our citizens. We have to make a bold shift right now or we will be losing ballot initiatives for decades.