Issue 1 passed in Ohio this week, with 71% of voters approving of the redistricting plan!
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio endorsed the ballot initiative. Our Executive Director Kellie Copeland advocated for the amendment:
Ohio women are fighting an uphill battle to preserve access to abortion and funding for reproductive health care in our state. Two-thirds of Ohioans want to see public funds used by Ohioans seeking family planning health care and cancer testing from qualified providers like Planned Parenthood.
Statewide, Ohio voters elected outspoken, pro-choice Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and Sherrod Brown in 2008 and 2014. How is it that those same voters chose a rabidly anti-choice state legislature that is also moving to defund Planned Parenthood’s infant mortality and disease prevention and treatment programs?
The answer: they didn’t. Anti-choice politicians effectively disenfranchised Ohio voters through the practice of gerrymandering. These politicians picked their constituents and created districts where the pro-choice majority has been literally divided out of contention.
The effect is an artificial appearance of an anti-abortion electorate, and a very real set of anti-abortion policies getting shoved down our throats. Half of our abortion clinics have closed and women are being forced to delay abortion care, or to flee the state to get care in Michigan. Still others have nowhere to turn and are forced to continue their unintended pregnancies. If Planned Parenthood is defunded, cancer, HIV and other diseases could go undetected, and unintended pregnancy rates could rise.
We need districts to be drawn fairly so that voters have representation that reflects their values and representatives that will stand up for commonsense reproductive health care policies.
Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.