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Key Issue 1 backer says November vote may not be the last on abortion in Ohio

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) gestures while speaking to reporters about the rejection of Issue 1 by Ohio voters on Aug. 8, 2023.
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) gestures while speaking to reporters about the rejection of Issue 1 by Ohio voters on Aug. 8, 2023.

One of the main backers of Issue 1 says the fight over abortion rights likely will not end in November if voters approve the amendment to guarantee abortion access and reproductive rights. That legislative leader is also suggesting the idea behind Issue 1 – to make it harder to amend Ohio’s constitution – could be before voters again as well.

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) was among the Republicans who’d been clear that Issue 1 needed to be on the August ballot because raising the voter approval threshold for future amendments to 60% was needed before the November election.

After Issue 1’s defeat Tuesday night, Huffman said if the guarantee on abortion rights is approved this fall, the fight isn’t over.

“If it passes in November, there's going to be another abortion amendment go on after that to repeal that," Huffman said, a point he made back in May when asked what might happen if voters rejected Issue 1, or if it didn’t make the August ballot.

“If it does pass, it’s not going to pass by very much and what that means is folks who disagree with what’s in there are going to put another ballot initiative on in 2024," Huffman said on May 3, as the House was discussing whether to vote on putting the proposal on the ballot.

At the time, Huffman also said he wouldn’t want to see the 60% idea come back if voters approve the abortion rights amendment. But after Issue 1’s defeat Tuesday, Huffman said lawmakers may want to ask the question again, though in a different political climate.

"I think it's an important question. I was for this 10 years ago when I was on the Constitutional Modernization Commission. I might add that Bob Taft was also for it 10 years ago when he was on the same commission with me, and other groups, five years ago, were trying to push this forward," Huffman said, referring to the former Ohio governor, who was among the Republicans who came out against Issue 1.

"So I think we'll probably ask this question again, but perhaps not in the same kind of atmosphere that, that we have and have had over the past 10 or 12 months."

Unofficial results show 57% of Ohio voters rejected Issue 1. Voter turnout is estimated to have been slightly less than 39%.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at
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