Poll: 58% of Ohioans Back Abortion Rights Amendment

But Republicans are trying to raise threshold for amendments to 60%
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2023 1:45 PM CDT
Poll: 58% of Ohioans Back Abortion Rights Amendment
Supporters and opponents of a GOP-backed measure that would make it harder to amend the Ohio constitution packed the statehouse rotunda Wednesday, May 10, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Samantha Hendrickson, File)

A proposed constitutional amendment on abortion rights in Ohio is supported by a large majority of voters, including a third of Republicans, according to a USA Today/Suffolk University. The amendment, which would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, was supported 58% to 32%, with the backing of what USA Today calls "a stunning 85% of independent women." Women surveyed supported the measure by 64% to 28%, the poll found. Among men, it was 50% to 37%. Support was strong across age groups, racial groups, and those at all levels of education.

The Ohio measure is likely to be the only ballot initiative on abortion rights put to voters this fall, but it is seen as a test case for possible future initiatives across the country. It states that "every individual has a right to make and carry out one's own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one's own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion." If it passes in the Nov. 7 vote, state lawmakers will still be able to restrict abortions after around 23 or 24 weeks, when the fetus could survive outside the womb.

"The general public in Ohio still likes their local Republican lawmakers, but when it comes to extreme positions against abortion rights, they are reeling them in," says David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. Under current Ohio law, it only takes a simple majority to pass changes to the state constitution, but Republicans are trying to change that, the AP reports. Ohioans will vote next month on State Issue 1, which would raise the threshold to 60%. Republican lawmakers say it's not connected to the abortion rights initiative, though groups supporting the change have been airing ads urging to people to vote yes to "protect life." (Read more abortion rights stories.)

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