DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — According to data from WDTN’s website, Ohio voters are still confused by the language of Issue 1.
Fetal viability, a term used in the Amendment, would become the latest time a woman has a right to an abortion. The term has not been used in the Ohio constitution before now.
Fetal viability is outlined in Issue 1 as “the point in a pregnancy when, in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician, the fetus has a significant
likelihood of survival outside the uterus with reasonable measures.”
This would be determined on a case-by-case basis by the pregnant patient’s treating physician.
“The state constitution has no guidance for the term,” said Christopher Devine, political science professor at University of Dayton. “I think that’s the reason for everybody to look very closely at the language and judge for themselves, not only do what they think that it means, but what do they think that a court might think that it means in the future.”
Current Ohio law guarantees the right to abortion up to 21 weeks and 6 days into the pregnancy. If Issue 1 fails, the law will be upheld.
It’s possible the failure of Issue 1 could lead to future laws like the Heartbeat Bill, which seeks to ban abortions after six weeks, which is typically when a heartbeat is detected. The Heartbeat Bill has been signed and approved but is currently blocked by a lawsuit.
If Issue 1 passes, it is expected to take effect within 30 days of the vote.
Political experts encourage voters to do their own research. Review issues before heading to the polls by viewing sample ballots on your local board of elections website.
To find more information about the upcoming election and how to vote, visit voteohio.gov.