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Ohio Senator Nickie Antonio commends women's rights activists in Ohio for getting abortion on the November ballot.... By Clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio's leader in Black digital news

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Today, Ohio Senate Minority Leader Nickie J. Antonio  (pictured)(D-Lakewood) issued a keen statement after Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, her public policy nemesis among some other anti-abortion Republicans in Ohio, announced that a proposed amendment to codify abortion access in the state constitution has enough valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

"I applaud the dedicated citizens who tirelessly gathered signatures to place this proposed amendment on the November ballot," said Sen.Antonio, a Lakewood Democrat whose 23rd state Senate district of Ohio also includes 14 of Cleveland's 17 wards."This is a critical step in ensuring that every individual can make personal healthcare decisions without government interference. The hard work and determination of Ohio citizens have made this important milestone possible. Today, the results of their efforts showcase the power of grassroots perseverance and the collective voice of Ohioans standing up for reproductive rights and justice."

Secretary of State LaRose on Tuesday certified petitions for a ballot initiative in November in Ohio where voters will determine whether to enshrine the legal right to an abortion in the Ohio Constitution. a controversial issued that has upset grassroots community activists and rocked political circles in Ohio.

Ohio advocates for reproductive rights and abortion access made their last big push collecting petition signatures late last month and by the July 5 deadline . 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,  turned in  some 710,000  signatures-by the July 5 deadline, more than double the roughly 313,000 signatures needed to place the abortion rights issue before voters via the Nov. 7 general election.The campaign needed 495,938 total valid signatures from 55 counties to qualify for the November ballot.

Republicans have placed a ballot initiative before voters for an Aug. 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 abortion ballot initiative for this fall.

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, once a pivotal state that has turned red in recent years, is center-stage.

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.

A key organizer of Women's March Cleveland since 2018, Cleveland activist Kathy Wray 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 this fall to rally the community in support of their plight as Republicans like Secretary of State 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.'' She called LaRose an "opportunist whose day of political reckoning for his sins against women in Ohio is approaching.

Ohio will become the seventh state in the country to vote on abortion rights behind Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky, Vermont, Montana and California. All those states had either proposals that enshrined the right to an abortion, or allowed the state to regulate abortion.

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. Abortion remains legal in Ohio up to 22 weeks, notwithstanding a six-week abortion ban dubbed "the heartbeat bill" that is on hold per a judge's ruling as the issue makes its way through the courts.

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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