'Destroys democracy': Abortion advocates sound the alarm as state GOP bid to change ballot rules

'Destroys democracy': Abortion advocates sound the alarm as state GOP bid to change ballot rules
Image via Vic Hinterlang/Shutterstock

Republicans in Ohio are working to make it more difficult for abortion rights measures to pass in the state; an initiative that is receiving pushback from reproductive health and abortion advocates.

According to The Guardian, "Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives passed a proposal on 10 May that could make it much harder for that abortion rights measure to pass by requiring a supermajority vote for ballot measures. The proposal, Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR-2), is scheduled to come before voters in an August special election."

With only six approved abortion clinics across the entire state, advocates are concerned that Republicans might succeed in abolishing abortion rights altogether in Ohio.

READ MORE: 'Slap in the face': Ohio GOP passes bill to shut reproductive rights out of state constitution

Speaking to the Guardian, Rev. Terry Williams shared details about the challenges he faced when he once tried to help a congregant obtain an abortion. He noted that the limited options led to his desire to advocate for reproductive rights.

“It was overwhelming,” said Williams. “I just became radicalized. I went from being the parish minister that helps people to being also the guy that goes and yells at the legislature.”

Like Williams, other abortion rights advocates are expressing concern about Republicans' actions. José Arnulfo Cabrera — the Young Latino Network co-executive director — noted how these Republican-driven agendas disproportionately impact people of color.

“The people being affected the most by this are Black and brown communities,” said Cabrera. “Our communities already feel that the civic process is so complex and so hard and they’re dealing with so many other personal things in their daily lives that adding all of these complexities about voting just disengages people.”

READ MORE: 'That’s a conflict': Abortion pill banning judge redacted details about millions in his stock portfolio

Student organizers at the University of Toledo expressed concern. “I feel like a lot of people are just very angry,” said Emilyn Lagger. “It destroys democracy.”

READ MORE: How the anti-abortion movement learned to stop worrying and love punishing women for having sex

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