Columbus, OH — Today, Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights (OPRR) and Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom announced they have joined forces to file language with the Ohio Attorney General to place a citizen-initiated Constitutional amendment to restore and explicitly protect reproductive rights and abortion access on the November 2023 statewide general election ballot.
“We are united in purpose and by the belief that placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2023 is both a moral imperative and offers the best prospects for success,” said OPRR Executive Director Dr. Lauren Beene. “The lives and health of Ohioans have been at risk since Roe was overturned. That is why we must seize the earliest possible opportunity to ensure that doctors and patients, rather than politicians and the government, are empowered to make decisions about pregnancy, contraception, and abortion.”
“The people of Ohio overwhelmingly support abortion access and keeping the government out of our personal lives. This citizen-led amendment will do just that: through our deep community partnerships and long history of protecting reproductive freedom and providing access to healthcare, this campaign puts the power back in the hands of the people of Ohio, so everyone has the freedom to prevent, continue, or end a pregnancy should they decide,” said Lauren Blauvelt from Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom.
“Organizations from across the political spectrum have come together uniting advocates and physicians to ensure this makes it on the ballot in 2023,” said OPRR President Dr. Marcela Azevedo.
"This powerful group of patients, expert reproductive rights, health, and justice leaders, grassroots advocates, and doctors is standing up for the health of Ohioans and against the extremist politicians who want the government to interfere in patients' medical decisions. This grassroots initiative—by and for the people of Ohio—is foundational to ensuring access to abortion and the right to bodily autonomy, not only for ourselves, but for generations to come,” said Kellie Copeland from Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom.
The amendment, which is being jointly drafted by the aligned reproductive rights, health and justice groups, will be similar to a constitutional amendment approved by Michigan voters last November and would give Ohioans the right to reproductive freedom including abortion. Subsequent to reviews and approvals by the Attorney General and the Ohio Ballot Board, volunteers will begin circulating petitions across Ohio to obtain the required valid signatures of registered voters to place the issue on the ballot.
The organizations bring a tremendous and unprecedented array of resources to this non-partisan campaign. Since the Dobbs decision, there has been an outpouring of grassroots support and enthusiasm to protect reproductive freedom from every corner of Ohio.
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About Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights:
The Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights is a coalition of physicians and health care professionals who believe that the elimination of Roe v. Wade is interfering with our medical practice and harming our patients. Our mission is to ensure patients have access to safe, legal, equitable, and comprehensive reproductive medical care including abortion for all Ohioans and to protect the doctor-patient relationship from government interference, so that people can make their own reproductive health care decisions. We strive to unify, inform, and mobilize physicians so that our voice is heard and considered within the movement to secure access to abortion for all Ohioans. We are a physician-to-physician network that facilitates and coordinates communication, education and advocacy efforts within the medical community and related professions. Learn more at www.ohioreprorights.org.
About Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom:
Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom is a coalition of leading Ohio-based rights groups formed by the ACLU of Ohio, Abortion Fund of Ohio, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, Ohio Women’s Alliance, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, Preterm-Cleveland, Pro-Choice Ohio, and URGE. The reproductive rights, health, and justice organizations that make up Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom are trusted institutions that have been working in partnership for decades to protect and expand abortion access. For years, hundreds of thousands of Ohio families have relied on this coalition to help them make reproductive decisions that are right for them and their families. Learn more at Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom.