What exactly is Issue 1? Issue 1 would ensure that every individual has a right to make and carry out their own reproductive decisions. It also ensures that the state of Ohio will not interfere or discriminate against an individual's exercise of this right or a person or separate entity that assists the individual. However, the state will restrict abortion after fetal viability, which is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Issue 1 comes after Ohio’s six-week abortion ban, Senate Bill 23, which is currently blocked in the courts. Ohio’s six-week abortion ban does not include a rape or incest exception. Further, Ohio only has six full-service abortion clinics, with three other clinics providing resources for medical abortion.
When thinking about abortion, it is important to remember the topic of bodily autonomy. According to the United Nations Population Fund, bodily autonomy means, “my body is for me; my body is my own. It’s about power, and it’s about agency. It’s about choice, and it’s about dignity.” We’ve all heard this abortion argument, and for good reason—bodily autonomy is essential.
Let's discuss an example that can relate to abortion. Say you are driving a car, and you cause a car crash, which injures your passenger. Say this passenger needs a blood transfusion, and you are the only one able to provide it. The hospital cannot force you to do this blood transfusion, even though you are the cause of the crash and you are the only person able to provide them with this blood transfusion. If they did force you, it would violate your bodily autonomy. The same sentiment goes for organ donation. Your permission is needed to donate your organs, and cannot be taken from you after you have died. You have the right to make decisions for your own body. Yet, this reasoning gets lost and disregarded when we discuss abortion.
Giving individuals access to safe abortion is critical for the health and safety of citizens. The problem of not having access to safe abortions expands beyond Ohio to other states and countries. According to Doctors Without Borders, over 29,000 women and girls die annually because of unsafe abortions worldwide. Ultimately this is because individuals will resort to unsafe abortions when safe options are not available. Unsafe abortion is a leading cause of maternal death, even though it is widely preventable. Restricting abortion also disproportionally affects people of color, low-income people and sexual and gender minorities, which only piles onto the medical discrimination these groups face regularly.
Ohio should not contribute to these unnecessary deaths, and I implore Ohioans to show the world you can and should provide safe abortions for all citizens. If Issue 1 passes in Ohio, it will show the rest of the U.S. that change is possible. If enough citizens unite, we can make a difference in our state. So, Ohioans, vote and protect the reproductive freedom of millions in your state.
Haylee Leasure is a sophomore studying journalism. Please note that the opinions expressed in this column do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk about the column? Email Haylee at firstname.lastname@example.org.