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July 5 deadline for submitting signatures for Ohio abortion ballot initiative nears as Women's March Cleveland rallies on one-year anniversary of the overturning of Roe v Wade by the Supreme Court.... By clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio's Black digital news l

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Above picture: Women's March Cleveland leads some 2,500 women and their supporters via a protest for reproductive rights and abortion access held on Oct. 2, 2021 at Market Square Park in Cleveland, Ohio, a sister march to marches held in cities across the country that day spearheaded by Women's March National out of Washington, D.C. ( Photo by David Petkiewicz of the Cleveland Plain Dealer Newspaper and Cleveland.com). the women's group rallied and march again, and  on June 24, 2023. a year after the Supreme Court, on June 22, 2022,  overturned Roe v Wade via a blow to women's reproductive rights nationwide.

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com

CLEVELAND,Ohio-As the July 5 deadline for submitting signatures to the secretary of state nears Ohio advocates for reproductive rights and abortion access made their last big push collecting petition signatures over the weekend. The coalition, which includes an array of groups, including local Black and other seasoned activist groups and organizers  in Cleveland that have pushed for reproductive rights for women for years,  must turn in 414,000 valid signatures-by July 5 to get an abortion rights issue before voters in November as Republicans have placed a ballot initiative before voters for an Aug a 8 special election dubbed State Issue 1 It  asks voters to raise the threshold for future constitutional amendments from a simple majority to a super-majority, or 60 percent of voters, an effort, say abortion supporters, to derail their prospective abortion ballot initiative for this fall.

On Monday, volunteers from across the state processed petitions collected over the weekend in Ohio's biggest cities like Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo and in some suburban and rural areas.

Many who want to pass the constitutional amendments change say a special August election is necessary to prevent out-of-state, special interest groups from amending Ohio’s constitution Opponents of Issue 1., mostly abortion rights advocates, call the assertion political bull designed to further disenfranchise women in Ohio and to strip voters of one person-one vote.  But it has also become a tug-of-war between Republicans and Democrats from the White house on down, and Ohio is center-stage.

Several  who back the plan, including Secretary of State Frank LaRose,Gov Mike DeWine and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost,  all of them anti-abortion Republicans, admit the August measure is intended to attempt to put in place the higher 60% bar before the proposed abortion rights amendment appears on the ballot in November.

Polling shows the reproductive rights amendment to enshrine abortion into the Ohio constitution would likely pass with somewhere between 50 to 60% support, if the issue makes the November ballot as advocates hope.  Anti-abortion groups, gun rights organizations and some big business lobby groups are pushing for the August constitutional amendment in order to make it harder to pass proposals relative to gun regulations and minimum wage, in addition to abortion . and the fight id on.

Hundreds of women in greater Cleveland, led by Women's March Cleveland. Ohio's largest grassroots women's rights group that has been fighting for reproductive rights since 2017 when Donald Trump took office as president for a first term, rallied and marched outside of Cleveland City Hall on  Sat., June 24, the one-year anniversary of  the overturning of Roe v wade by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022.

Women's March Cleveland head organizer Kathy Wray Coleman, a seasoned Black Cleveland activist and women's advocate who also leads the Imperial Women Coalition, called last Saturday's event in Cleveland that drew abortion supporters, elected officials and a wealth of mainstream media "a success that proves that "women truly united will never be divided." She said that in spite of being slighted, Black women in Cleveland and others who were disrespected by organizers of the abortion ballot initiative had joined the coalition to work to protect abortion access in Ohio and that taking away access to abortion for Ohio women is deplorable and unconscionable, and that " women in  greater Cleveland, including Black women and community activist leaders, will stand up and fight back.

Last year, on June 24, 2022, the nation's high court ended access to abortion for women nationwide and gave individual states the authority to legislate abortion, including to restrict or outright outlaw the procedure all together, causing a firestorm of protests throughout the country.

Speakers for Saturday's march in Cleveland  included Ohio state Sen. Nickie Antonio, Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne, Democratic Party Chairman David Brock, city of Cleveland community relations director and adviser to Mayor Bibb Angela Shute -Woodson,  and activists Genevieve Mitchell, Maosha Maybach Vales, Alfred porter Jr., Lee Thompson and Delores Gray..

Porter leads black on Black crime Inc and spoke on the epidemic of rape and murder of cleveland women, calling out the names of several women who had been murdered or raped since the late serial killer Anthony Sowell strangled 11 Black women to death at his since demolished home on imperial avenue on Cleveland's east side.  Sen Antonio, the democratic Minority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives and who's 23rd state senate district includes 14 of Cleveland' 17 wards, told the crowd that abortion access is part of family planning. Mitchell and  Nina Turner wooed the audience with  pro-female speeches, Mitchell speaking on the plight of Black women and Turner saying that  "abortion is healthcare."

Also at issue were racism, sexism, missing persons, heinous violence against women in Cleveland, the legal system and prosecutorial and judicial malfeasance in Cuyahoga County relative to Black people, and State issue 1,which will be on the Aug 8 ballot throughout Ohio where voters are being asked to approve a constitutional amendment that would raise the threshold to pass future constitutional amendments in Ohio from a simple majority to a super majority, or  60 percent of voters. Women's March Cleveland and abortion advocates say that Ohio's conservative GOP-led state legislature put State Issue 1 on the ballot this summer in hopes of derailing a possible ballot issue for abortion on the November ballot and that the fight for reproductive rights for women continues.

A key organizer of Women's March Cleveland since 2018, Coleman said that "the unconstitutional denial of abortion access to women in Ohio will disproportionately impact poor women, Black women and other women of color  and that Women's March Cleveland has other rallies and marches planned for this summer and spring to rally the community in support of their plight as Republicans like Secretary of State Frank LaRose argue that putting abortion on the ballot in November is 'radical."  Coleman said that secretary of State LaRose "is obviously no rose and is a thorn in the side to us as we  seek abortion access and equality across the board for women in Ohio, including Black women, poor women and other women of color.''

More than 14 states have near-total abortion bans during any point in pregnancy in effect, and at least six states have implemented abortions bans with other limits from six to 20 weeks bans. Ohio has a six-week abortion ban dubbed "the heartbeat bill" that is on hold per a judge's ruling as abortion advocates hope to get abortion on the November ballot in Ohio. Roughly 415,000 signatures from registered voters are needed to put the issue before voters in November.

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: editor@clevelandurbannews.com. We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

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