Ohio rejects changes to amendment process, paves way for abortion vote

by Renata

Ohio voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a measure that would have made it harder to amend the state’s constitution and paved the way for an abortion rights amendment this November.

Voting 56% to 43% against the measure known as Issue 1, voters chose to keep the state’s simple majority requirement to pass an amendment, rather than expanding it to a 60% majority vote. More than 3 million people voted – four times the expected number.

State Republicans hoped to make it harder to pass a proposed constitutional amendment enshrining abortion into the state’s constitution this November. Ohio Secretary of State Frank Larose blamed the loss in part on out-of-state funding.

Abortion is currently legal in the Buckeye state for up to 22 weeks. Last year, Ohio’s heartbeat bill was blocked in court, pending judicial review. But should the amendment pass this fall, the government would only be able to ban abortions after “fetal viability,” which is usually between 22 and 24 weeks.