Columbus, OH — Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights (OPRR) and Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom today announced they have joined forces to file language with the Ohio Attorney General to place a citizen-initiated Constitutional amendment to restore and 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 Dr. Lauren Beene, Executive Director of Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights, which launched Protect Choice Ohio, its grassroots network. “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, birth control, and abortion.”
“The people of Ohio overwhelmingly support abortion access and keeping the government out of our personal lives,” said Lauren Blauvelt from Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom. “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.”
“Organizations from across the political spectrum have come together uniting advocates and physicians to ensure this makes it on the ballot in 2023,” said Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights President Dr. Marcela Azevedo.
“This powerful group of patients, experts in 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,” said Kellie Copeland from Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom. “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.”
The amendment, jointly drafted by Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights, Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom, and 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. Both groups have recruited a large corps of volunteers eager to begin circulating petitions in communities across the state. Both are advised by highly experienced legal counsel, public opinion researchers, and strategic and communications consultants.