Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Warns Against Abortion Ballot Measure as Early Voting Opens

MORAINE, OHIO - NOVEMBER 4: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine speaks at a campaign stop at The Man
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) is warning against a radical abortion measure on the ballot in the state as Ohioans begin early voting for an election on November 7.

An Ohio pro-life, pro-parent group called Protect Women Ohio released an ad on Wednesday featuring DeWine and first lady Fran DeWine, in which they describe how the ballot initiative, called Issue 1, goes “too far” for Ohioans who identify as pro-life and pro-choice alike. 

“Fran and I have carefully studied it [Issue One],” DeWine says in the ad, “But whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, Issue One is just not right for Ohio.” His wife Fran agrees, noting, “Issue One just goes too far.”


Ohioans ultimately have the opportunity through election day to decide whether or not the supposed “right” to abortion is codified into the state constitution. Issue 1 would “establish in the Constitution of the State of Ohio an individual right to one’s own reproductive medical treatment, including but not limited to abortion.” 

The ballot measure was put forward by Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights — a coalition comprised of far-left groups such as URGE, ACLU of Ohio, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio. The language of the amendment, which was changed significantly by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) and now includes the term “unborn child,” would also:

  • Create legal protections for any person or entity that assists a person with receiving reproductive medical treatment, including but. Not limited to abortion; 
  • Prohibit the State from directly or indirectly burdening, penalizing, or prohibiting abortion before an unborn child is determined to be viable, unless the State demonstrates that it is using the least restrictive means; 
  • Grants a pregnant woman’s treating physician the authority to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether an unborn child is viable; 
  • Only allow the State to prohibit an abortion after an unborn child is determined by a pregnant woman’s treating physician to be viable and only id the physician does not consider the abortion necessary to protect the pregnant woman’s life or health; and 
  • Always allow an unborn child to be aborted at any stage of pregnancy, regardless of viability, if, in the treating physician’s determination, the abortion is necessary to protect the pregnant woman’s life or health. 

Pro-abortion groups pushing the amendment have dumped significant sums into framing a “yes” vote on Issue 1 as a vote “freedom” and have invoked conservative imagery, opposition to government overreach, and mentions of “faith” and family” to convince Ohioans to support the killing of the unborn. Pro-abortion groups successfully employed a similar strategy in the 2022 midterms when abortion was on the ballot in states like Kansas and Michigan

But critics of the ballot measure have urgently warned that the amendment would decimate parental rights, lead to abortion throughout pregnancy, and even allow minors to pursue sex-change procedures. Members of the pro-abortion coalition have notably long campaigned to end parental involvement laws.

“Issue 1 is an all-out assault on parental rights. If passed, this dangerous initiative would abolish parental notification and consent requirements which protect minor girls from undergoing an abortion or even sex change surgery without her parents’ knowledge or involvement,” the pro-life group Ohio Right to Life posted to X on Wednesday.

The ACLU of Ohio is responsible for crafting the broad original language of the proposed abortion amendment, along with other groups such as Planned Parenthood. Left-wing fact-checkers have quickly asserted that the amendment would not impact parental rights. But when local media questioned the ACLU of Ohio about whether the language of the measure would undo parental consent and notification laws, the organization vaguely indicated that those laws would not stand if the amendment passes.

The ad is the second Protect Women Ohio released ahead of early voting. The group released another video called “He’s Back” about a late-term abortionist named Dr. Martin Haskell, who reportedly donated $100,000 toward the passage of the amendment. Haskell notably invented the now-illegal method of partial-birth abortions.


Ohio election officials are predicting the issue may drive “heavier-than normal turnout for an off-year vote,” AP reported. Ohioans will also vote on whether to legalize recreational marijuana.

“Initial early voting numbers won’t be available from the secretary of state’s office until next week, but absentee ballot requests in Ohio’s three most populous counties — home to about a third of the state’s total population — have been far greater this year than in Ohio’s last off-year election in November 2021,” according to the Associated Press.

The November election follows another heavy-turnout special election over the summer, in which Ohioans voted against another amendment that would have raised the threshold to pass amendments to the state constitution from 50 percent plus one to 60 percent. If that amendment had passed, it would have likely made it more difficult for the abortion amendment to pass.

Abortion in Ohio is currently allowed up to 22 weeks of pregnancy, which is in the fifth month of pregnancy when the baby is roughly the size of a papaya. Ohio lawmakers did pass a restriction on abortion after a heartbeat can be detected, but a judge’s order has placed the law on hold. The Ohio Supreme Court is considering whether to lift that order.

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on X @thekat_hamilton.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.