Leaders of Protect Choice Ohio (PCO) will begin training volunteers this week to gather the signatures needed to enshrine reproductive freedom in the Ohio Constitution.
“The training represents an important step forward in our drive to place a reproductive freedom amendment on the November 7, 2023 General Election ballot, ” said Dr. Marcela Azevedo, the president of the broad-based coalition. “We’ve already seen a vigorous response to our training sessions from enthusiastic supporters and are building a large corps of well-trained, highly motivated volunteers ready to hit the ground running and begin circulating petitions in communities across Ohio.”
The first two virtual training sessions are Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 7 P.M. ET and Sunday, January 22 at 7 P.M. ET. Participants must register in advance at https://protectchoiceohio.com/training and will receive a secure link to the sessions 24 hours in advance.
According to Dr. Azevedo, PCO is on track to submit their amendment to Ohio Attorney General David Yost in the next few weeks.
“We are doing our due diligence and taking all of the necessary steps to carefully plan and skillfully conduct a campaign that will enable voters to decide the future of reproductive health care and abortion access in our state this year,” Dr. Azevedo said.
“Placing the amendment on the ballot in 2023 is a moral imperative and presents the best opportunity for success,“ said Dr. Azevedo. “Ohioans want and deserve action now. The lives and health of pregnant Ohioans have been at risk since Roe was overturned. That is why we must seize the earliest opportunity to ensure that doctors and patients, not politicians, are empowered to make decisions about pregnancy, contraception, and abortion.”
Recent events make the need to move ahead even more urgent, she observed.
“Attorney General Yost has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to both lift the injunction that is now blocking the ‘heartbeat bill’ and declare that abortion rights are not protected by the Ohio Constitution,” said Dr. Azevedo. “A proposal to require a supermajority to amend the Constitution is very much alive, and the total ban that was proposed in 2022 will almost certainly be revived. It is unconscionable to delay protecting Ohioans from these serious threats even a day longer than necessary.”