Issue 1: Local politicians, activists react to abortion-rights win

Here’s what regional politicians and advocates on both sides of the abortion debate had to say about Issue 1 passing last week with 56.6% of the vote, constitutionally guaranteeing an individual’s reproductive autonomy in Ohio and protecting access to abortion up to fetal viability.

Rep. Willis Blackshear, Jr., D-Dayton, on whether the Issue 1 result is reflective of where Ohio stands on abortion:

“It most definitely was. The people have spoken and we have to listen to them. (Politicians) can’t let their own personal interests basically cloud what the people have said. They said that they wanted this enshrined in the constitution and we need to leave it alone. We need to stop wasting all this money like we did in August, and we need to start passing policy that Ohioans want. It should not be a back and forth between the legislature and Ohio.”

Sen. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, on whether the Issue 1 result is reflective of where Ohio stands on abortion:

“It’s not. It’s not because they ran a bad campaign. It’s not reflective…There are the ‘No’ votes on Issue 1, it’s just the campaign failed to turn them out. The campaign failed to explain to pro-life voters that they needed to vote no, and I think that responsibility can only be laid at the feet of the campaign.”

Antani said the campaign “wasted millions on a parental rights message that very few voters actually care about.”

Rep. Sara Carruthers, R-Hamilton, on why Ohio voters preferred Issue 1 over allowing the state to decide abortion policy.

“I think people believe that we are trying to take away their freedoms, and in many cases, I’m seeing a lot of bills that are doing just that. And at the same time, we’re screaming all about freedom. I mean, you gotta walk the walk here.

“If you want people to have personal freedom, then you can’t do a lot of bills and issues that take away what they think is their freedom. I have listened to people since this issue passed… I can tell you, people think we are taking away their freedoms.”

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

Kathy Wyenandt, chair of the Butler County Democratic Party, on why the majority of voters in the usual Republican stronghold of Butler County voted to pass Issue 1.

“I think what Butler County is, is ‘Keep the government out of my private business,’ right? They don’t want politicians in the exam room with them, they don’t want politicians in their bedroom, they don’t want politicians making decisions about school curriculum, they don’t want politicians in places they don’t belong. They want experts in those places, they want to be empowered to make decisions as families.

“(Tuesday’s vote) doesn’t mean Butler County is pro-life or pro-choice, it means Butler County stood up to extreme overreach.”

Margie Christie, executive director at Dayton Right to Life, on what she’d like to see lawmakers do now that abortions up to fetal viability are protected under the Ohio Constitution:

“I’d like to see the support for women that should have been going on all along, supporting the working mom and childcare issues — I’d like to see that addressed. They had their chances to do something about all these issues long before and they never dealt with them, so that’s how it ended up in the hands of the voters; so they kind of made their own bed.”

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

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