On Nov. 7, Ohioans will vote on Issue 1, a ballot measure that, if passed, would add a constitutional amendment establishing the right to abortion, contraception and other forms of reproductive care. Ohio is the latest in a line of states to put abortion directly on the ballot: Last year, three similar measures were approved in California, Michigan and Vermont, while three anti-abortion initiatives were defeated in Kansas, Kentucky and Montana.
In addition to enshrining the right to abortion before fetal viability — which is to be determined by the physician on a “case-by-case basis” — Ohio’s amendment would protect “any person or entity that assists a person with receiving reproductive medical treatment.” Abortion would also be permitted throughout the full term of pregnancy in cases where the life or health of the mother is in danger.
Since Roe v. Wade was overturned almost a year and a half ago, many states have enacted severe restrictions on reproductive freedom. Fourteen states currently have near-total abortion bans in place, and seven others place restrictions on the procedure earlier in the pregnancy than 22 weeks, the lower limit of fetal viability. In some cases, people have been denied care for life-threatening pregnancy complications.
Kenyon students and Gambier residents: Vote ‘Yes’ on Issue 1. Twenty percent of women will get an abortion by the time they are 25 years old, according to a 2008 study. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States in 2011 were unintended. Abortion access is not an abstract issue: Everyone deserves the right to bodily autonomy. The government has no right to control a person’s medical and family-planning decisions. Protecting access to abortion and other life-saving reproductive care is imperative, and a vote in favor of Issue 1 is a critical step in the right direction.
Katie and Hannah
This editorial was written by editor-in-chief Katie Sparvero ’25 and managing editor Hannah Sussman ’25 and does not reflect the views of all members of the Collegian executive staff. You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, respectively, and editor-in-chief Audrey Baker ’25 at firstname.lastname@example.org.