A lot of voters turned out in the August heat for this election, an “uncharacteristically high number,” in fact, according to the New York Times. Once again, the Republican party is getting the message loud and clear that people in the United States want the right to choose an abortion. This bizarro world concept that Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis and others push, that the people in this country actually want restrictive abortion laws, and a return to back alleys and coat hangers, is sheer madness. If that’s the hill the GOP wants to die on, so be it. Today was yet one more reminder that nobody wants restrictive abortion laws other than a few right-wing extremists.
Ohio voters rejected a bid to make it harder to amend the State Constitution on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, a significant victory for abortion-rights supporters trying to stop the Republican-controlled State Legislature from severely restricting the procedure. […]
With about four in 10 ballots counted, opponents of the proposal led in the vote, 60.5 percent to 39.5 percent. The total vote far surpassed the turnout recorded in the state’s last primary election in May 2022, when candidates for both governor and the state’s 15 House seats were on the ballot.
The contest was seen as a major test of growing efforts by Republicans nationwide to curb voters’ use of ballot initiatives, and a potential bellwether of the political climate in next year’s national elections.
Bellwether indeed. The Ohio legislature ate up the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. It passed some of the nation’s strictest curbs on abortion. The constitutionality of those curbs is still being decided in the state courts, but the Times reports, “the law’s passage drove a successful grass-roots campaign this year to place an abortion-rights amendment on the November ballot.”
The Times continues, “Raising the threshold for adopting an amendment to 60 percent of votes would put the fate of the proposed amendment in doubt. In two polls, 58 percent and 59 percent of respondents supported granting a constitutional right to abortion access.”
Tuesday’s election has become something of a proxy for the November election, with supporters of abortion access and anti-abortion forces waging a multimillion-dollar preview of the coming battle.
Ballotpedia estimated last week that at least $32.5 million has been spent on the battle, split roughly equally between the two sides. Eight in 10 dollars came from donors outside Ohio, that estimate said, including $4 million from a single donor, Richard Uihlein, the Illinois founder of a nationwide packing and shipping company, Uline Inc., who is one of the country’s most prolific patrons of right-wing causes.
That is a lottt of bread to spend on a local initiative. There’s a lot more at stake here than how Ohioans view ballot procedures. There is a major issue at stake here, abortion, and the message ringing out is that people all over the country want a constitutional right to abortion to be the law of the land.