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Buckeye Brief I: Ohio November Issue 1 & 2

Buckeye Brief I: Ohio November Issue 1 & 2

On November 7th, Ohioans will decide whether or not to put into law, or reject, Issues 1 & 2 of the 2023 November Ohio Election.  These measures have raked in millions of dollars for both sides’ ability to campaign in getting out the messages: Yes or No.  With millions of Ohioans still unsure as to the actual effect of the measures, Ohio Democrats and Republicans have raced to slap their words onto the measure, causing confusion on voters young and old.

What is Issue 1 though?  According to the Secretary of State’s Office, the proposed amendment would:

  • Establish in the Constitution of the State of Ohio an individual right to one’s own reproductive medical treatment, including but not limited to abortion;
  • Create legal protections for any person or entity that assists a person with receiving reproductive medical treatment, including but not limited to abortion;
  • Prohibit the State from directly or indirectly burdening, penalizing, or prohibiting abortion before an unborn child is determined to be viable unless the State demonstrates that it is using the least restrictive means;
  • Grant a pregnant woman’s treating physician the authority to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether an unborn child is viable;
  • Only allow the State to prohibit an abortion after an unborn child is determined by a pregnant woman’s treating physician to be viable and only if the physician does not consider the abortion necessary to protect the pregnant woman’s life or health; and
  • Always allow an unborn child to be aborted at any stage of pregnancy, regardless of viability if, in the treating physician’s determination, the abortion is necessary to protect the pregnant woman’s life or health.

The Vote Yes campaign, which is the position of the Ohio Democrats, has been described as the campaign to ‘Protect Reproductive Freedom.’  According to the Yes Campaign, Issue 1 would “keep government out of our family’s personal decisions.”  In addition to the Secretary of State’s Office released pdf, the Yes campaign asserted that “Ohioans agree that abortion is a personal, private decision that should be up to women and their families, not the government.”  The campaign to Vote Yes to Issue 1 is endorsed by Fmr. President Barack Obama and the Ohio Democratic Party.

On X, formerly Twitter, Fmr. President Obama posted; “Ohio, there’s an important election happening right now. If you want to protect abortion rights by making them part of your state Constitution, vote yes on Issue 1. Visit http://ohiodems.org/yeson1 and make your plan to vote before November 7th.”

The Vote No Campaign, which is the position of the Ohio Republican party, has campaigned the bill with phrases such as “Protect Our Kids.”  Far-Right supporters of the Vote Yes campaign have received criticism for misinformation such as sources saying the amendment also provides gender affirming surgeries for children, which is false as the bill pertains solely to abortion and legal protections surrounding abortion.  The Vote No Campaign has, however, experienced better turnout in rallies, better responses, and a stronger momentum among Ohioans.  Particularly, they have done well to convince Ohioans just how far Issue 1 goes.  Citing the amendment’s language as it provides protection for abortion, all the way up to birth, meaning a baby can be aborted the day before delivery, a position described as “liberally radical”. While lacking in online campaigns, especially the YouTube ads, the Vote No campaign has seen success in Pro-Life rallies, door knocking, TV commercials, and yard signs.  Protect Women Ohio partnered with Governor DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine to produce an ad urging Ohioans to reject the proposal.

“Everywhere we go, voters tell us they’re confused about Issue One, so Fran and I have carefully studied it” Governor DeWine said in the commercial.

“Issue One would allow an abortion at any time during a pregnancy and it would deny parents the right to be involved when their daughter is making the most important decision of her life” Fran DeWine added.

The DeWine’s ended the ad urging Ohioans that the measure is just too extreme saying: “I know many Ohioans are divided on the issue of abortion, but whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, Issue 1 is just not right for Ohio.  Issue one just goes too far.”

In other ballot initiative news, Issue 2 is also on the ballot for Ohioans.  If approved by a majority “yes” vote, the initiative would legalize cannabis and marijuana in the state of Ohio.  At the Center for Christian Virtue, Fmr. Fox News Anchor and now successful conservative independent news pundit Tucker Carlson delivered a keynote address talking about both Issues 1 and 2.

“…when you wind up in an election where the two top ballot initiatives are, one, encouraging people to kill their own kids, and two, encourage their kids to do drugs, who is benefiting here?  The one unalloyed source of joy in your life is your children. The point of life is to have children, and to watch them have grandchildren. Nothing will bring you joy like that will. Nothing comes close” Carlson said, discussing the importance of family and the dangers of the initiatives.

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About the Writer
Ben is a Junior at Lakota West High School.  There he serves as the Junior Class Representative of Student Government as well as plays for the Lakota West boys Tennis team.  This is his second year of Journalism and usually writes his passions and interests for the website.  He likes to talk politics, history, philosophy, and theology, as well as just casually talking with good friends.  He is South Vietnamese American, Christian, and 16 years old.  While Ben was born in Columbus, he considers his hometown Hamilton, OH, as he lived there for the first 10 years of his life.  

“The first step towards failure is bringing it up”

Ben Nguyen

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