Supporters of enshrining abortion rights in the Ohio constitution delivered nearly twice the number of signatures needed to put the amendment to a vote in the upcoming state election. With this they aim to highlight the high level of support for a right that requires a wide margin to impose it.
Ohio United for Reproductive Rights say they delivered petitions with more than 700,000 signatures to Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office in Columbus. LaRose and the boards of elections must determine that there are at least 413,446 valid signatures for the proposal to be put to a vote on November 7.
“Today we take a big step forward in the fight for abortion access and reproductive freedom for all, to ensure that the people of Ohio and their families can make their own health care decisions without government interference,” Lauren said. Blauvelt and Kellie Copeland of Ohio United for Reproductive Rights.
Copeland said at a press conference that the 422 boxes delivered “are full of hope and love and dreams of freedom, of bodily autonomy, of health, of being able to say, ‘we decide what happens to us.'”
What is put to the vote is the establishment of “a fundamental right to reproductive freedom” with “reasonable limits”. In language similar to the constitutional amendment passed in Michigan in November, it would require restrictions after the viability of the fetus outside the uterus, which typically occurs at the 24th week of pregnancy and was the standard under Roe v. Wade.
A powerful anti-abortion network in the state has promised to wage a tenacious and well-financed campaign, which would raise the price of the race above $70 million.