Group of Cleveland-area doctors in favor of abortion access oppose Issue 1
Cleveland-area physicians with the advocacy group Committee to Protect Health Care held a news conference Monday to share their opposition to State Issue 1, which is the subject of August 8's special election.
If passed, Issue 1 would make it harder for citizens to change Ohio's constitution. In August, voters will decide whether it should take 60% of the vote to approve constitutional amendments, instead of a simple majority, 50% plus one vote.
While the proposal would affect all future constitutional amendment drives, the doctors said those behind Issue 1 are targeting a ballot initiative to protect abortion rights, which is expected to appear on the ballot in November.
“The anti-abortion lawmakers backing Issue 1 know that most Ohioans, over 59%, in fact, would support a constitutional amendment to restore abortion rights in the state, which is why they are trying to mislead voters into giving up their ability to pass such an amendment,” said Dr. Patricia Kellner, a retired Cleveland-area family doctor.
Supporters of Issue 1 said the change would prevent wealthy special interests from shaping the state’s laws.
But Kellner said it would mean letting a minority of voters decide on issues that affect all Ohioans.
“If it takes 60% of people to change things, that means the 40% are going to decide for the rest of us, or the 39%,” she said.
Voters in Michigan and Kansas last year passed ballot initiatives protecting abortion access in their states. Backers of the Ohio effort will learn this week whether the issue has qualified for the November ballot.
Early in-person voting is open now and continues through August 6, while mail-in absentee ballots must be postmarked by August 7. Election day is August 8.