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Columbus Faith Leaders Hold ‘Sacred Faith, Sacred Ohioans, Sacred Freedom’ Rally in Support of Issue 1 Ahead of Election on Reproductive Freedom


Thursday, November 2, 2023 


Lizzy Ganssle,, 203-623-2271


Columbus Faith Leaders Hold ‘Sacred Faith, Sacred Ohioans, Sacred Freedom’ Rally in Support of Issue 1 Ahead of Election on Reproductive Freedom

Columbus, Ohio – On Thursday, November 2, Columbus faith leaders rallied, ahead of the November 7 election, to encourage Ohioans to vote YES on Issue 1 to protect comprehensive reproductive healthcare in Ohio. 


People of faith know Ohioans deserve the right to make their own medical decisions about reproductive healthcare – including abortion, contraception, fertility treatment and miscarriage care – without the interference of judges and legislators. Our faith teaches us that we all should have the ability to live with dignity, autonomy and a sense of well-being. Over 250 faith leaders across Ohio have signed on to letters in support of Issue 1. 


You can watch the full press conference here. 

Below are statements from Columbus faith leaders encouraging Ohioans to vote yes on Issue 1.

Rev. Dan Clark, Regional Organizing Director, Faith in Public Life Action

“I stand with people of faith and faith leaders around the state from many traditions and backgrounds who believe we can work together to co-create communities where everyone can be safe, healthy and thrive. This means that we must use our voices at the ballot box, especially when the legislature is out of touch and the governor is spreading misinformation and disinformation. The majority of people of faith know Ohioans deserve the right to make their own medical decisions about reproductive healthcare, including pregnancy and abortion. When faced with complex and difficult situations, people discern with God, consult trusted experts, in this case, medical professionals, and turn to the wisdom of their faith traditions to help them decide how to proceed. It is important that public policies do not disrupt people’s ability to discern with God and those they trust. Instead, public policies should prioritize human dignity, compassion and justice to build communities where every person has what they need to be safe, healthy and thrive. I encourage every registered voter to exercise their sacred right to use their voice to make change by voting YES on Issue 1.” 

Rev. Dr. Eric Brown, Senior Pastor, Woodland Christian Church

“The governor and state legislature cannot be trusted to allow women the right to determine what is appropriate for their reproductive health after consulting their doctor and God. By voting YES on Issue 1, we the people get to correct what they did. The government does not have the right to control what women do about their health. Women should not be persecuted for making decisions about their reproductive health. God understands when people have to make difficult decisions and does not condemn them. God remains on the side of people who have to make difficult decisions. All people of faith, all who believe in the living God, all who believe that God bestows upon us mercy and grace: show the state legislature what they should have done. Vote YES on Issue 1.” 


Rev. Laura Young, United Methodist Minister

“I voted YES on Issue 1 to protect safe and legal abortions for all Ohioans. The majority of people of faith and the majority of Ohioans want this medical procedure to be accessible to those who need it. We cannot abandon people with problem pregnancies, leaving them to their own devices. A society based on the shared values of freedom and compassion does not leave desperate people alone to their fate. We don’t turn a blind eye to people in need. God gave all of us the ability to make decisions about our own bodies without the interference of government or politicians. I urge all people to ensure this right for Ohioans by voting YES on Issue 1.” 


Dr. Katelin Hansen, Deaconess, United Methodist Church and Community Development for All People

“Throughout scripture God consistently and repeatedly calls us to offer special care to the poor and marginalized. Instead, the Ohio abortion ban law throws them under the bus, leaving the most vulnerable at the mercy of sweeping legislation regulating personal healthcare. These laws create a system of inequity, where middle and upper class people can access healthcare by traveling out of state while those without money cannot. In the face of pregnancy, people without means must make impossible choices. As a person of faith, I will never stand for a system in which the least of these are being even further burdened and oppressed. Let us not add one more barrier to healthcare access in the state of Ohio. Not one more time will we allow those who hunger and thirst to be denied. Do not ask: “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or sick and did not take care of you?” For it is right here, right now. This is the place, now is the time, to do what is right by the least of these. As a person of faith, I have already voted YES on Issue 1 and I urge you to do the same.” 


Rev. Dr. Susan Smith, Director, Crazy Faith Ministries

“If this issue does not pass, the healthcare of all of us will be in jeopardy. Women are human beings, precious in God’s sight, and our rights need to be protected. I am for protecting the rights of women to make the choices they need to make as concerns their reproductive lives and healthcare issues. There are no gods in government; there is but one God, and that God made us all precious and equal of being treated with dignity and respect. Vote YES on Issue 1 and tell the government that we totally oppose its intrusion into the most personal healthcare decisions we will ever make.”


Rev. Dr. Amariah McIntosh, Senior Pastor, Phillips Chapel CME Church, Akron

“As a woman who is also a pastor and a Christian, I am voting YES on Issue 1 and advocating that my faith community do the same. My faith teaches me that women are made in the image of God with full autonomy over our bodies including our reproductive system. God has never delegated this power to any other entity, including legislators. This government has intruded on the rights of all Ohioans over the past few years. Women are fully capable of making decisions regarding their health and do not need to have those rights legislated by persons who have no regard for our bodies, our health or our autonomy. As Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) declared, 'there is not enough room in a woman's vagina for her, her doctor and the state legislature.' I encourage every voter to vote YES on Issue 1.”



Faith in Public Life Action uses the moral imperative for justice, inclusion and equity to advocate for policy change that ensures our full humanity is protected by law. We do this by building and leveraging the power of a multifaith, multiracial coalition of highly influential faith leaders to advocate for policies that protect and advance our sacred human rights.

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