Voters in the US state of Ohio today approved a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to abortion. This means that a law recently signed by the Republican governor, banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, will expire.
The constitutional amendment, Issue 1, will take effect in thirty days. US President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has welcomed the enshrinement of the right to abortion in the state’s constitution. Similar bills are on the agenda for next year’s elections in Arizona and Missouri, among others.
Since the US Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling in June 2022, pregnant people in the US no longer have the constitutional right to have an abortion. It is now up to the American states themselves to determine whether or not abortion is allowed. Many Republican states have since severely restricted the right to abortion, while in predominantly Democratic California the right to abortion was enshrined in the constitution after the Supreme Court ruling.
Ohio is a conservative-leaning state that supported Republican Donald Trump by 8 percentage points in the 2020 presidential election. In Ohio, voters also voted in favor of the recreational use of marijuana on Wednesday. An exit poll by ‘NBC News’ showed that young and progressive voters in particular were in favor of this.
Kentucky gets Democratic governor
The United States also voted on Tuesday for the governorship of the states of Kentucky and Mississippi. New Jersey and Virginia held state-level legislative elections. In Kentucky, in the south of the US, which is known as conservative, Democratic Governor Andy Beshear was re-elected.
In his campaign, Beshear pointed to his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic and the devastating floods and tornadoes in his state. His challenger, Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron, tried to associate him with President Joe Biden, who is unpopular in Kentucky. In 2020, Donald Trump won the state by a margin of 26 percentage points.
Socio-cultural issues such as the right to abortion were hot topics during these elections. Beshear, a supporter of broad access to abortion, and Cameron, who opposes it, accused each other of taking extreme positions.
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