By Okon Ekpenyong
On Election Night, Ohioans showed their commitment to protecting abortion rights in the state with the approval of ballot measure Issue 1. Women in Reynoldsburg and Gahanna’s leadership roles were among the strongest supporters of this issue.
With 100% of the vote now reported, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office revealed Tuesday night that more than 2 million Ohioans voted in favor of issue one to protect reproductive rights. This landmark result is a crucial victory for abortion rights. It adds momentum to citizen-led initiatives to preserve abortion access in the wake of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.
“Tonight, Americans once again voted to protect their fundamental rights, freedoms- and democracy,” said President Joe Biden on passing of Ohio’s abortion rights amendment.
Since the Roe vs. Wade ruling by the US Supreme Court, President Biden has repeatedly spoken out against the decision and has pledged to protect women’s reproductive rights.
Those who oppose abortion rights argue that the practice is immoral and should be illegal and that it is an affront to human life and dignity. But at the Franklin County Democratic Party Election Watch Party, supporters of Issue One and reproductive rights jumped, high-fived each other, and cheered. Some even had tears in their eyes, saying such a constitution should be between a woman and her doctor.
Ohio Issue One is a controversial conversation regarding reproductive rights because it aims to restrict access to abortions and limit the rights of individual to make decisions about their own body. This has sparked debates about women’s rights, freedom of choice, and personal autonomy.
“Yesterday was amazing. Local elections matter. “When Women Stand United, Voices are heard.” Women in leadership roles in Columbus, Reynoldsburg, and Gahanna strongly supported Issue One. The work Women are doing in the city is phenomenal”, said Tonya Kelly, Franklin County voter and Educator.
During the recent campaign season, volunteers, candidates, and supporters in the neighboring cities of Reynoldsburg and Gahanna engaged in an active canvassing effort. They also communicated with residents on various ballot measures and outlined ways for them to get involved.
The canvassing initiative played a crucial role in raising voter awareness and engagement. By reaching out to the community in an informative and engaging manner, volunteers could promote civic participation and help voters make informed decisions at the ballot box.
“This is a simple answer. The Ohio Constitution has been this way and has worked for over 100 years. No problems until this year when the abortion issue is on the ballot to change the Constitution and allow it. Now, a group of conservative activists are demanding the Constitution be changed to stop it. This is precisely why the Constitution was written how it was: to give people the right to decide what they want. In other words, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”, said a Fairfield County resident.
“If voters are comfortable with abortion before birth, then they are likely to accept this amendment—if they are comfortable with parents not being involved in the most critical decisions their daughter will make or will make “until that point in her life.” It takes a moment to make amends”, said a resident of the State of Virginia.
The women from Gahanna and Reynoldsburg have expressed their persistent advocacy for protecting reproductive rights. They remain hopeful that the outcome of the current election will inspire voters in other states to push for similar measures to be included on the ballot. This would give them a voice and allow them to express their opinions on a critical issue.
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