COLUMBUS—Thousands of pro-life activists marched in downtown Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, calling for protections for the unborn and urging their fellow Ohioans to vote against an upcoming pro-abortion ballot measure.

Ohio Issue 1, the Right to Make Reproductive Decisions Including Abortion Initiative, would ban the state from interfering with “reproductive decisions,” including abortion—effectively enshrining the “right” to abortion into Ohio’s constitution.

The proposed constitutional amendment is pushed by groups like the ACLU of Ohio and Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights (neither of which responded to requests for comment from The Daily Signal).


Ohio law bans abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected, but a judge blocked the heartbeat law, meaning that abortions are allowed in the state until 22 weeks.

The national March for Life spearheaded the peaceful pro-life demonstration on Friday in Columbus, where priests, nuns, students, families, and individual pro-life activists gathered for a morning rally and then the afternoon march. Many children and babies were also present.

The Daily Signal observed marchers praying, singing, and chanting throughout the march. Organizers estimated that about 5,000 to 6,000 pro-life activists marched on Friday afternoon.


“Every single thing that we can do to shift the tide at all matters,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini told The Daily Signal as she marched through the streets of Columbus. “This is going to come down to the wire. And so the goal today was to continue educating because there’s such lack of clarity on what Issue 1 is really about.”

“So many Ohioans think that if Issue 1 successfully passes that it will return Ohio to where the abortion and pro-life limitations were prior to Roe being overturned,” Mancini explained. “That’s not true. This will go so much farther than Roe. In fact, overnight, Ohio, which has been a traditionally a very pro-life state, will become one of the most pro-abortion states in the country, if not the most pro-abortion state.”

Critics of the constitutional amendment like Janae Stracke, vice president of field operations for Heritage Action for America, have warned that the amendment is “an attempt by outside left-wing groups to hijack the state constitution and impose their radical political agenda on all Ohioans.” (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation).

Stracke previously told The Daily Signal that the proposed amendment would set an “alarming precedent” for other states across the nation to follow suit—and not just on abortion.

One group opposing the amendment, Protect Women Ohio, has said that the Ohio amendment touches on parental notification and consent laws, and its language forbidding that any law “directly or indirectly” interfere with “reproductive decisions” could mean that parents would be “left blindfolded if their child chose to pursue sex change surgery.”

“Not only would this extreme and misleading amendment allow taxpayer-funded abortions until the moment of birth, it would also forcibly take away parents’ right to give consent—or even be notified—of their minor children receiving abortions, dangerous cross-sex hormones, and experimental surgeries that remove healthy body parts,” Stracke said.

And on Friday, Ohio state Rep. Brian Lorenz, a Republican, echoed similar concerns following the pro-life demonstration. His concern as a parent, he emphasized, is of the possibility that Issue 1 would strip parents of their parental rights.

“It was really impactful,” he said of the state March for Life, during an interview with The Daily Signal in his office overlooking the city. “It was great to see so many people down here. Hopefully we helped to raise some awareness.”

Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights Executive Committee members Lauren Blauvelt and Dr. Lauren Beene said in a statement, “Every person deserves respect, dignity, and the right to make reproductive health care decisions, including those related to their own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion free from government interference.”

“Now that the petition drive is complete, we’re eager to continue the campaign to enshrine those rights in Ohio’s Constitution and ensure that Ohioans will never again be subject to draconian reproductive health care policies imposed by extremists,” Blauvelt and Beene added.

Sue Liebel, the state affairs director at Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, stressed that with less than 30 days until the election, “the push is on.”

“The other side is out spending us considerably,” she said. But she expressed optimism, citing the level of support that she has seen from pro-family, pro-life, and religious groups within the state battling to defeat Issue 1.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.