Abortion access enshrined in Ohio Constitution goes into effect today

Credit: NYT

Credit: NYT

Ohioans voted to enshrine access to abortion in the Ohio Constitution last month and that goes into effect today, 30 days after the vote.

“Today marks the first day of constitutionally protected reproductive care, including abortion, in the state of Ohio. Our celebration today comes after a hard-won victory made possible by the tremendous efforts of our volunteers, storytellers, supporters, and donors who have been with us every step of the way,” said a joint statement from Erica Wilson-Domer, president and CEO at Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, and Lauren Blauvelt, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio.

Ohioans voted to decisively enshrine abortion access in the state constitution with 56.6% of the vote.

What comes next is the ACLU of Ohio plans to challenge Ohio’s heartbeat law before the Ohio Supreme Court. The heartbeat law, which has had a preliminary injunction preventing it from being in effect since September 2022, prohibits abortion around the six-week mark of a pregnancy before most women know they are pregnant.

“The moment that the amendment comes into effect, the ban will clearly be in violation. If necessary, we will file a claim in court asking to strike the ban,” Freda Levenson, legal director of the ACLU of Ohio, said to the Dayton Daily News last month.

Anti-abortion activists have been anticipating these court challenges.

“That’s exactly what we said would happen, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen, so we’re not surprised, and we anticipated this from the beginning,” Margie Christie, executive director of Dayton Right to Life, said to the Dayton Daily News last month.

On Nov. 16, the Ohio Supreme Court ordered parties in the case of Preterm-Cleveland v. Yost, the lawsuit stemming from a lower court’s preliminary injunction on Ohio’s heartbeat law, to file briefs about how the passage of Issue 1 will impact that case. Those briefs from the parties are expected to come today.

“We’re proud that Ohioans did not fall for the rampant misinformation from anti-abortion activists and elected officials, and that our grassroots movement to protect reproductive freedom resonated with millions across the state,” said the joint statement from Wilson-Domer and Blauvelt.

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