COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Secretary of State today announced Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights has submitted 495,938 valid signatures to place the citizen-initiated constitutional amendment “Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety” on the 2023 General Election ballot. The requirement to qualify is 413,487 signatures. The signatures exceeded the state requirement in 55 counties, more than the necessary 44 county distribution.
“Every person deserves respect, dignity, and the right to make reproductive health care decisions, including those related to their own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion free from government interference,” Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights Executive Committee members Lauren Blauvelt and Dr. Lauren Beene said. “Now that the petition drive is complete, we’re eager to continue the campaign to enshrine those rights in Ohio’s Constitution and ensure that Ohioans will never again be subject to draconian reproductive health care policies imposed by extremists.”
The secretary of state will now forward the amendment to the Ohio Ballot Board, which must draft the language describing the amendment that will appear on the general election ballot. As that process and planning for the general election campaign continues, Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights and its affiliated organizations will actively participate in the effort to defeat Issue 1 in the August 8 Special Election. Issue 1 would raise the threshold for passing initiated constitutional amendments from 50% of the vote plus one — the standard in effect for more than 111 years — to a 60% supermajority. Sponsors of that proposal have admitted it was placed on the ballot for one reason: to silence the voices of the vast majority of Ohioans who support reproductive rights and abortion access.
Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights is committed to ensuring powerful extremists won’t get away with taking away our vote or our ability to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families.