Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights File Signatures in Statewide Effort to Place Abortion Rights on November Ballot

July 5, 2023

URGE, in partnership with reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations, today filed signatures in efforts to place abortion rights on Ohio’s November ballot 

OHIO — Today, URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, in a campaign powered by young people and volunteers from across the state, filed signatures to ensure people in Ohio have the ability to vote on a ballot measure protecting abortion rights in the state. The umbrella organization leading the effort, Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, worked hand-in-hand with young people to organize the biggest campaign for reproductive freedom in the nation so far in 2023. State election officials will review signatures by July 25.

URGE will now focus on turning out young voters in the August and November elections, which will be pivotal for the future of Ohioans. The abortion rights ballot measure, planned for the November ballot, could face tougher requirements due to a push by extremist lawmakers. On August 8, a special election will take place, where Ohioans will vote on a cynically anti-democratic measure which would require a 60% win instead of a simple majority for ballot measures. 

“I am extremely proud of the work that URGE, young Ohioans, and our partners across the state have done to mobilize folks for abortion access. Last year’s elections made clear — abortion is a winning issue, period. People of all backgrounds and political affiliations recognize the overreach and harms of abortion bans, and want to keep abortion legal and accessible. Anti-abortion lawmakers know that too, and want to put a stranglehold on democracy to thwart the will of the people,” said Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE. “We will never stop fighting for abortion justice. We will continue organizing BIPOC, queer, and trans young people to defend our human right to self-determination, in pregnancy and at the ballot box. And we will stop the insidious creep of abortion bans and other extremist attacks across the country. Watching our organizers canvas across the state, educate people on reproductive justice, and take this fight into their own hands has been inspiring. We look forward to mobilizing young Ohioans to vote in August and November.”

“In states across the South and Midwest, we are fighting to protect our bodily autonomy like never before, and it brings me great joy to have worked with Ohioans across the state to collect signatures for the ballot measure this fall,” said Toni Watkins, URGE Voter Engagement Director. “For weeks now, I have worked with young canvassers and organizers who collected signatures for this cause, and I feel more inspired than ever that Ohioans want to protect reproductive rights. Young Ohioans are refusing to let lawmakers with political agendas dictate their futures and their reproductive health decisions. It is my honor to fight alongside them to ensure their voices are heard at the ballot box this November.”

From Kansas to Ohio, URGE has been a leader in the battle for abortion protection. URGE has organized signatures, strategized campaigns and empowered youth activism and involvement in the movement. Since the Dobbs decision, reproductive health care has been threatened and severely restricted for millions of people across the country, and URGE has been on the frontlines, dedicated to ensuring everyone has self-determination over their own bodies.