To prevent the state from enshrining the right to abortion in the constitution, Republicans in Ohio wanted to make constitutional changes more difficult. A majority of citizens have now voted against the proposal.
According to forecasts, a majority of voters in Ohio rejected a Republican proposal to make constitutional changes in the US state more difficult. This is reported by the US media, citing initial vote counts. Instead of the 60 percent majority proposed by the Republicans, a simple majority is still sufficient for constitutional changes in the state.
The vote is particularly significant because the people of Ohio will vote in November on whether to enshrine the right to abortion in the constitution. If the Republicans had prevailed with their project in the current election, such a constitutional change would be much more difficult.
Legal patchwork in abortion
A year ago, the Supreme Court overturned the constitutionally protected right to abortion in the United States. This means that the sovereignty over abortion legislation is once again in the hands of the individual states – a legal patchwork quilt has emerged.
Since the Supreme Court decision, several states have enshrined abortion rights in their constitutions. However, these constitutional amendments in the votes of the respective states usually did not result in majorities of more than 60 percent. Critics accuse the Republicans of having counted on making constitutional changes more difficult.
Ohio had passed a ban on abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy following the Supreme Court decision. However, according to two polls published in June and July, 58 percent of Ohio residents support the right to abortion being enshrined in the state constitution.
Trial run for the right to abortion
US President Joe Biden welcomed the result in Ohio. The move to make constitutional changes more difficult in the state was an apparent attempt to weaken voters’ votes and further erode women’s freedom to make their own health care decisions, he wrote on X (previously Twitter). “The citizens of Ohio spoke loud and clear, and tonight democracy triumphed.”
The current election in Ohio was watched with excitement in the USA. It is seen as a test run for how much the issue of abortion still mobilizes voters. According to polls, a majority of people in the US support the right to abortion.