By Joelle Boxer
Dobbs “return[ed]” the authority to regulate abortion to “the people and their elected representatives.” The people of Ohio will act on that authority on November 7, demonstrating yet again the emerging role of referenda in American abortion law.
The referendum will determine if “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety Amendment,” or Issue 1, is added to the Ohio Constitution. It reads as follows: “Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion.”
The amendment would establish a constitutional right to abortion before fetal viability (around 22-24 weeks gestation), and would include exceptions for later term abortions in instances where it is necessary to protect the pregnant person’s life or health.