Ohio has voted to protect the right to abortion in the state’s constitution in a major victory for reproductive rights.

Seventeen months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, residents in the Republican-controlled state resoundingly backed an amendment that enshrines access to the procedure and a string of other reproductive rights.

The result of the closely-watched referendum is a huge win for Democrats who are hoping to capitalize on the issue in the 2024 elections.

President Joe Biden celebrated the decision as a victory over ‘MAGA Republican elected officials’ trying to ‘impose extreme abortion bans that put the health and lives of women in jeopardy’. 

Abortion is legal up to 22 weeks of pregnancy in Ohio, but the GOP has battled to introduce a six-week ban after the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision in June 2022.

The Ohio ballot initiative, simply called ‘Issue 1,’ affirms the right to make decisions about abortion, contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care and pregnancy.

Ohio has voted to protect the right to abortion in the state’s constitution in a major victory for reproductive rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade

It still allows for some late-term abortions to be banned, unless the mother’s life is in danger or if a doctor allows the procedure to go ahead.

Republicans, including Governor Mike DeWine, opposed the ballot initiative and claimed it would lead to more late-term abortions. 

President Joe Biden’s statement on the Ohio abortion ballot initiative 

Tonight, Americans once again voted to protect their fundamental freedoms – and democracy won. 

In Ohio, voters protected access to reproductive health in their state constitution. 

Ohioans and voters across the country rejected attempts by MAGA Republican elected officials to impose extreme abortion bans that put the health and lives of women in jeopardy, force women to travel hundreds of miles for care, and threaten to criminalize doctors and nurses for providing the health care that their patients need and that they are trained to provide. 

This extreme and dangerous agenda is out-of-step with the vast majority of Americans. 

My Administration will continue to protect access to reproductive health care and call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law once and for all. 

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Ohio joins voters in California, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana and Vermont who have either affirmed the right to an abortion or voted against undermining it.

The state made national headlines just weeks after the Dobbs decision, when a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim was forced to go to Indiana to obtain an abortion because terminating her pregnancy would be criminal in the state. 

In August, Ohio voters rejected a measure that would have made it harder to amend the state’s constitution.

The move cleared the way for abortion to be put on the ballot. 

Exit polls from CNN showed that most Ohio voters were angry about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Six in 10 voters said they had negative feelings about the justices’ decision while four in 10 said they were ‘angry’.

Biden added that the ‘extreme and dangerous agenda’ to enact abortion bans nationwide is ‘out-of-step with the vast majority of Americans.

‘Tonight, Americans once again voted to protect their fundamental freedoms – and democracy won,’ the president said shortly after the results were revealed.

‘In Ohio, voters protected access to reproductive health in their state constitution. 

‘Ohioans and voters across the country rejected attempts by MAGA Republican elected officials to impose extreme abortion bans that put the health and lives of women in jeopardy, force women to travel hundreds of miles for care, and threaten to criminalize doctors and nurses for providing the health care that their patients need and that they are trained to provide. 

‘This extreme and dangerous agenda is out-of-step with the vast majority of Americans. 

‘My Administration will continue to protect access to reproductive health care and call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law once and for all.’

The majority of residents backed an amendment that enshrines access to the procedure and string of other reproductive rights in the Republican-controlled state

The majority of residents backed an amendment that enshrines access to the procedure and string of other reproductive rights in the Republican-controlled state

The majority of residents backed an amendment that enshrines access to the procedure and string of other reproductive rights in the Republican-controlled state

Voters celebrate as the results of Ohio's abortion ballot initiative come in

Voters celebrate as the results of Ohio's abortion ballot initiative come in

Voters celebrate as the results of Ohio’s abortion ballot initiative come in

Abortion rights campaigners mark outside Ohio's Hamilton County Courthouse after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022

Abortion rights campaigners mark outside Ohio's Hamilton County Courthouse after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022

Abortion rights campaigners mark outside Ohio’s Hamilton County Courthouse after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022 

Last year, abortion rights advocacy groups scored a series of victories by placing abortion-related referendums on the ballot, including in conservative states.

In addition to Tuesday’s amendment in Ohio, similar ballot measures are advancing in several states for 2024, including swing states Arizona and Florida.

Anti-abortion forces campaigned against the Ohio amendment as too extreme, while abortion rights groups warned that rejecting it would pave the way for a stringent ban to take effect.

Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature previously approved a six-week limit, but the law is on hold pending the outcome of a legal challenge before the conservative state Supreme Court.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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