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Ohio's abortion initiative makes the November 2023 ballot as organizers ask voters to enshrine the legal right to abortion in the Ohio onstitution...Ohio will become the seventh state in tChe country to vote on abortion rights....

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Above picture: Women's March Cleveland leads some 2,500 women and  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 w marched again on June 24, 2023, a year after the Supreme Court, on June 24, 2022, overturned Roe v Wade via a blow to women's reproductive rights nationwide.

Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com

CLEVELAND,Ohio-- Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has 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.The campaign needed 495,938 total valid signatures from 55 counties to qualify for the November ballot.

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 as 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.

Several  who back the plan, including  GOP Gov Mike DeWiine abd Secretary of State  LaRose, who is running for the U.S senate in hopes of unseating Democrat Sherrod Brown of Cleveland,  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 in the Ohio Constitution would likely pass with somewhere between 50 to 60% support,.  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 is 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 the June 24th 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 some 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 the June 24 women'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..

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 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.''

Ohio would 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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