Scripps News spoke with Dr. Jennifer Lincoln about what Ohio's special election may mean for abortion protections in the state when they're voted on later this year.
Ohio voters on Tuesday turned down Issue 1, which proposed raising the threshold of votes required to make amendments to the Ohio state constitution. Under the proposal, the constitution could only have been amended with the support of 60% of voters. That is a greater share of state voters than the simple majority that current law requires to make amendments.
The vote was widely considered to be a referendum on legalizing abortion access in Ohio, which will be voted on during elections this year in November.
Lincoln and other supporters of abortion hailed the Tuesday vote as an early win.
"We don't have a whole lot to be excited about and be thankful about in the abortion world. It's been a very rough year," Lincoln said. "We had the feelings going into this. And we were optimistic, of course, cautiously optimistic. But we knew that if voters turned out, what the result would be and we saw that. 57% of voters said that they did not want to have this change in the ballot measure."
"The right says that this is really to prevent any sort of ballot measure issue in the future, but truly even the secretary of state acknowledged that this was 100% about abortion," Lincoln said. "And we know that when it's on the ballot, it wins, and this makes sense because 64% of Americans disagreed with what happened in the Supreme Court in June of last year."
"Especially Gen Z turned out in a big way in this election," Lincoln said. "And if they show up, we'll be okay. We just need to keep our foot on the gas pedal so people know November is a big deal. Not only for this election, but in all elections moving forward."
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