Ohio Republicans Now Throwing Everything at the Wall to Stop Abortion Referendum

Photo: Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty (Getty Images)

Photo: Stephen Zenner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty (Getty Images)

Ohio Republicans really, really don’t want voters to be able to decide whether abortion will remain legal in their state, and they’re now throwing everything at the wall to thwart a ballot measure that would let Ohioans codify abortion protections in the state constitution after the fall of the Roe v. Wade.

GOP state lawmakers have already forced an August special election to make it harder for ballot measures like the coming abortion one to pass, raising the bar for passage from a simple majority (50% +1 vote) to 60%. And conservatives have now filed a lawsuit asking the Ohio Supreme Court to block the measure from appearing on the ballot this fall at all. Former State Rep. Tom Brinkman (R) and former statehouse candidate Jennifer Giroux are suing Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), claiming that the amendment violates state law by not spelling out which laws would be repealed if the amendment were to pass. The suit names as examples a six-week abortion ban, a ban on abortion if there’s a fetal diagnosis of down syndrome, and law requiring parental consent for minors to obtain abortions. The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Curt Hartman, previously sued the Ohio Ballot Board in March over the petition language it approved, but the Ohio Supreme Court rejected the claim.

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Abortion is currently legal in Ohio, but only because a judge blocked a six-week ban from taking effect in October. The state is appealing the preliminary injunction, meaning the state Supreme Court could overturn it and ban the vast majority of abortions in the state. Activists are leaving nothing to chance and hoping to codify abortion access in the state constitution to prevent the ban from going into effect.

Ohio is slated to be the seventh state to put abortion to a statewide vote after the fall of Roe, and the pro-choice position won all six times so far, even in red states. No wonder Republicans are scared shitless and trying to thwart democracy.

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