Updated Nov. 8:
On Nov. 7, Ohio voters amended the state’s constitution to enshrine the right to abortion until about 24 weeks of pregnancy, when a baby is viable outside its mother’s womb. With more than 99% of votes counted, the vote on the measure known as Issue 1 stood at about 56.6% for the amendment and 43.4% against it.
The amendment’s wording—“Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions”—has also raised concerns about sex-change surgeries for minors. Critics of the amendment say the ambiguous language may create a constitutional right for children to undergo procedures that would permanently sterilize them—even without their parents’ permission.
The amendment was widely supported by pro-choice groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Human Rights Campaign.
Ohio’s governor, Mike DeWine, had voiced his opposition to the amendment. “Whether someone is pro-life or pro-choice,” he said “I just think for most Ohioans, that goes much, much too far.”
In the voting Nov. 7, many of the state’s rural areas voted against the amendment, but those votes were not enough to counter the votes for the amendment in the regions around Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo and Athens.
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