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Statehouse Democrats push to protect abortion rights with a constitutional amendment

The future of abortion, always a contentious issue, was heard at the Supreme Court on Dec. 1, 2021. Protester holds a sign saying "keep abortion legal."
J. Scott Applewhite
Protestor in front of the US Supreme Court, Dec 1, 2021.

A group of Democratic women in the Ohio Legislature wants to change the Ohio Constitution to protect abortion rights and all methods of contraception. In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown talk with State Senator Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) about the effort.

The Neverending Story

We have yet another ruling in Ohio’s months-long saga that is redrawing legislative district maps. Ohio's highest court told the Ohio Redistricting Commission to show why they should not be held in contempt of court for yet again missing a deadline to approve new legislative maps.

If you feel like you’ve heard this before, it’s because you have. This is the third time the court has made such a ruling. The court has so far stopped short of holding them in contempt. In mid-April—after such a warning—the redistricting commission approved a very minimally-altered map that was previously ruled unconstitutional.

Preparing for a post-Roe world

With the leak of the draft Supreme Court majority opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, supporters and opponents of abortion rights have been mobilizing to prepare for a new reality in Ohio and across the country.

Here in Ohio we already have the so-called heartbeat law which would ban abortion once cardiac activity is detected. That law is on hold and likely would take effect if the court overturns Roe.

And lawmakers are considering a so-called trigger law, which would immediately ban abortion in Ohio if Roe is overturned.

The other side is mobilizing as well. Democrats in the Ohio General Assembly want to change the Ohio Constitution to protect abortion rights and rights to all methods of contraception. Needless to say, that would face long odds in Ohio's very conservative legislature and with Governor DeWine who opposes abortion rights.

Snollygoster of the week

Republican candidate for governor Joe Blystone took a page from the Trump playbook when he made unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.

Blystone got just 21% of the vote in last week’s primary, but that did not stop him from tweeting a graphic with the words “VOTER FRAUD” along with the words “Everyone needs to carefully document every anomaly you encountered while voting yesterday.”

The first reply read “The results came in exactly as polled.” The bulk of the replies were people mad at him for not dropping off to give Jim Renacci a better chance.

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.

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