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Ohio Faith Leaders Applaud the Passing of Issue 1 to Enshrine Comprehensive Reproductive Healthcare in the Ohio Constitution


Wednesday, November 8, 2023


Lizzy Ganssle,, 203-623-2271


Ohio Faith Leaders Applaud the Passing of Issue 1 to Enshrine Comprehensive Reproductive Healthcare in the Ohio Constitution


Columbus, Ohio – On November 7, Ohioans passed Issue 1 with over 56% of the vote to enshrine comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including access to abortion care, into the Ohio State Constitution. Faith leaders across Ohio spoke out to applaud the passing of Issue 1.  


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

“Yesterday, a resounding majority of Ohioans loved their neighbors by turning out to vote to protect people’s freedom to make their own decisions about their reproductive health, including access to abortion care. Passing Issue 1 is a victory for the majority of people of faith who know Ohioans deserve the right to have access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion care. By guaranteeing access to the healthcare people need, when they need it, we have ensured that Ohioans will have the grace and space to discern what is best for themselves, their families and their communities. Passing Issue 1 and enshrining reproductive freedom into the Ohio Constitution is a critical step toward creating communities where everyone has what they need to be safe, healthy and thrive.” 


Rev. Laura Young, United Methodist Minister, Westerville

“The passage of Issue 1, enshrining into the Ohio Constitution a person’s freedom to make their own reproductive health decisions without government interference, reflects the fact that the majority of people of faith support abortion access for all who need it. The God of my understanding gives human beings the ability to make these decisions ourselves and is with us on the journey.” 


Dr. Ben Huelskamp, Executive Director, LOVEboldly, Westerville

“By passing Issue 1, citizens of the State of Ohio have ensured that the right to safe, effective reproductive healthcare is available to all Ohioans. We have defeated Christian nationalist and anti-LGBTQIA+ organizations that attempted to link Issue 1 to other areas of their agenda, which is both unChristian and rooted in hate. The people of Ohio are sending a strong message to the rest of the country that citizens can take back the rights they have been denied.”  


Pastor Hank Osmundson, St. John’s United Church of Christ, Columbus

“The people of Ohio demonstrated that they understand better what it means to love your neighbor than the lawmakers in the Ohio Statehouse. My Christian faith is rooted in the understanding that what is good for my neighbor's well-being is the right thing to support. When we exercise our right to vote with a mindset that everyone should flourish, we are doing the work of democracy and the work of God.”


Rev. Dr. Tim Ahrens, First Congregational Church, Columbus

“Ohio has spoken. Our state constitution will forever reflect protection for women’s reproductive rights. And freedom of choice. Thanks be to God!”


Rev. Jed Dearing, Trinity Episcopal Church on Capitol Square, Columbus

“Tonight, I give thanks to God for the discernment of so many people of faith, who have taken the time and energy to reckon with past teachings that demonized abortion, and instead determined that Christians can in fact support Issue 1 with a clear conscience and joyful spirit. The people of Ohio have used the tools of democracy to ensure both the dignity and agency of pregnant persons. This vote makes it clear that people of faith recognize that abortion access is a justice issue, and they have now enshrined reproductive rights in our constitution, ensuring a more just and safe future for all pregnant persons in Ohio.”


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

“I rejoice that the rights of women will be protected by law - and that this effort to further take away the rights of all people was thwarted. I thank God for all who voted to protect democracy.”


Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins, Heartland Conference of the United Church of Christ, Delaware

“Today, we celebrate that the God-given agency of women to discern the best path for themselves has been affirmed and is now the law of the land. People of faith can still affirm life and also be given the space to make personal decisions of health unencumbered by previous laws too narrowly written.”


Rev. Joan Van Becelaere, retired Unitarian Universalist minister, Worthington

“Senator Rev. Raphael Warnock has said: ‘A vote is a kind of prayer for the world we desire for ourselves and our children.’ Today, Ohioans have delivered a prayer for the whole nation to hear, loud and clear, that in Ohio we overwhelmingly desire a future of freedom and dignity for ourselves and our children. We prayed with our voices and our votes to create a future with reproductive rights for all.”


Alejandro Rodriguez, Executive Director, The Spirituality Network, Hilliard

“Let freedom ring! Thanks to the voters of Ohio for ensuring the right to reproductive health. My granddaughters thank you!”


Rev. Joel Miller, Columbus Mennonite Church

“Abortion can be a complex decision. Today people of faith across Ohio affirmed it is a decision best entrusted to women.”  


Minister Samantha Shivener, Pastoral Associate, Jacob’s Porch, Columbus

“Praise God and all the humble, faithful servants who worked diligently to ensure our Ohio communities are offered safe reproductive care. As a person of faith, I’m given hope that the power of divine love is a powerful force that moves through God’s beloved children. We can now celebrate that power in knowing that it responded faithfully to ensure reproductive freedom for our state.” 


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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