Ohio Governor Vetoes Gender-Affirming Care Ban—Showing Republicans *Can* Respect Personal Medical Decisions

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is the first Republican governor to veto a ban on healthcare for transgender youth.

Politicians are not doctors and have no place intruding on decisions that go against the combined expertise of patient and provider. Laws banning abortion and essential healthcare for transgender people interfere with individual decisions about our health, bodies and our ability to control our futures.

The Republican Crusade Against Issue 1: Ohio’s Reproductive Freedom Amendment

In the face of a referendum that could add a right to reproductive freedom to the Ohio constitution, state Republicans have organized a campaign to confuse voters and undermine the democratic process.

As Ohioans United started collecting signatures to make sure the Reproductive Freedom Amendment would be on the ballot in November, state Republicans started plotting. They first tried to make it more difficult to pass referenda. Thankfully, Ohio voters showed up during an August special election to defeat the amendment—by a 14-point margin. Unfazed by the loss, state Republicans embarked on a crusade to push voters away from the Reproductive Freedom Amendment. 

This November, Abortion Is on the Ballot in Ohio. Here’s What You Need to Know to Vote

This November, Ohioans will decide whether to add to the state’s constitution the right for individuals to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions, including abortion. Early voting in the election has already begun. 

A coalition of reproductive, women’s and civil rights organizations, Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, is urging voters to vote YES on Issue 1 to protect reproductive freedom.

Ohioans, here’s all you need to know about how to vote in this election.

All Eyes on Ohio: The Next Abortion Battleground State

Proponents of the ballot measure to amend Ohio’s state constitution to protect the right to abortion always knew they faced an uphill battle. Challenged to both gather enough signatures to make the ballot and defeat a Republican-led measure that would make it more difficult to amend the state constitution—aimed at derailing the amendment—advocates in the Buckeye state are rising to the task.

(This article originally appears in the Fall 2023 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get the issue delivered straight to your mailbox!)

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Ohio’s Rejection of Issue 1 is a Win for Ballot Measures; Democracy and Women’s Empowerment Are Linked

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: New Jersey state Rep. Sadaf Jaffer is leaving office due to the mental, emotional and sometimes physical trauma of serving in the public eye; Kalamazoo, Mich., has adopted a resolution to implement ranked-choice voting for mayoral and city commissioner elections; the findings of the 2023 Gender Parity Index; and more.

Ohio Voters Are Showing Up to Protect Abortion Access

Ohio voters resoundingly rejected Issue 1, which would have made it harder to amend the state constitution—including a ballot measure that seeks to ensure the constitutional right to abortion, which will now officially appear on the ballot for Ohio voters in November. With all precincts reporting, and 58,000 absentee and provisional ballots left to be counted, the measure was failing by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent.

Voter turnout in this hastily scheduled special election in an off-year, was nearly double that of the 2022 state elections—in which governors and U.S. senators were on the ballot, which typically helps to spur higher turnout.

Ohio Court Overturns Conviction of Pregnant Woman for Drug Use

An Ohio court of appeals unanimously overturned a pregnant woman’s conviction under the state’s “Corrupting Another with Drugs” law last month in a rare post-Dobbs win for the rights of pregnant people. Prosecutors in Ohio—and elsewhere—have increasingly sought to “protect” fetuses by manipulating state laws initially passed to protect pregnant people themselves from harm.

Though prosecutors have vowed to appeal the ruling vacating Hollingshead’s conviction, the Ohio court’s decision could help slow the march towards criminalizing pregnant women.

Keeping Score: Fighting Florida’s Book Bans; Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom Gather Signatures for November Ballot Measure; HIV Infections Down 12%

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

This week: Rhode Island expands guaranteed abortion coverage; PEN America and Penguin Random House file lawsuit against Florida book ban, while NAACP issues Florida travel ban; Michigan protects abortion patients from employment discrimination; rock fans mourn the death of star Tina Turner; South Carolina votes to pass six-week abortion ban; HIV infections decreased in the U.S.; and more.