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August 18, 2023

Ohio Preborn Lives Are On the Ballot in November; This is How SFLAction is Working to Protect Them

Guest post by Students for Life Ohio Regional Coordinator Jamie Scherdin

GUEST POST: As Ohio will face two critical ballot initiatives in 2023 (one of which has already happened; read more on that HERE), Students for Life Action (SFLAction) has been hard at work over the past few months in the Buckeye State. As an Ohio native myself, I’ve helped to spearhead this fight for preborn Ohioans. Here’s what our grassroots operations have looked like:   

Our fight started back in March when SFLAction joined the Protect Women Ohio Coalition. This is a group of concerned religious, pro-family, and pro-life leaders, parents, and medical experts from Ohio who are focused on ensuring that radical out-of-state organizations aren’t able to rewrite our constitution to give us one of the most extreme abortion laws in the country. The coalition has since met every Friday.  

Our goals including passing Issue 1 (to protect our state constitution, making it harder to amend) and squashing the November ballot initiative entitled “Right to Make Reproductive Decisions Including Abortion.”

On May 10, I joined our statewide students and community members at the Ohio House for a hearing on whether Issue 1 would make it to the special election on August 8. While it did make it to the special election, Issue 1 failed to pass. 

 

 

It is hard to win an election when you are outspent nearly five to one. Big money out of state interest groups flooded Ohio and caused mass confusion on what the August election entailed. Although it did not go our way, the Pro-Life Generation made a significant impact in Ohio — and the fight continues to protect preborn lives in November. 

Educating Ohioans was one of our priorities so I created a coalition of students to share the message to protect life via social media. SFLAction also hosted an event called ‘Life on the Line in Ohio;’ this brought in 75 SFLAction supporters to learn about our plan to defeat the November ballot initiative. I also attended two festivals and the Ohio State Fair to share information on Issue 1 and the November election, reaching more than 300 voters. Students from across the state also went all in for Issue 1; this included making phone calls, knocking on doors in the community, and carpooling together to the polls.  

We’re also working closely with students to ensure they understand what’s going on in Ohio and how they can help. Nearly 25 student groups have been trained on how to defeat the November ballot initiative, and I am currently working with 72 other pro-life student groups in Ohio to plan out their activism for the school year. 

I’ll also be helping with a campus tour entitled “Human Rights on the Ballot” which will stop at 12 campuses to get students registered to vote, educated on the real impacts of the November election, and encouraged to vote NO. The tour will also be featured at the Ohio Pro-Life March on October 6 where hundreds of students from around the state are projected to join. 

 

 

Beyond this, SFLAction and our students will also participate in phone banking nights with Catholic Vote, political leadership workshops with SFLAction, door-knocking with SBA Pro-Life America, and on the day of the election, we’ll be at every on-campus polling location to hand out educational material. 

As an Ohioan, I know this is the most critical election we have faced in our state history. The people of Ohio see abortion though all nine months as far too extreme for our state, but the challenge we face is making sure every Ohioan knows the truth about this ballot measure as the abortion lobby runs a misinformation campaign.   

We must protect the 30,000 preborn lives that are ended in Ohio every year and preserve parental rights. This election will be a stepping stone in the right direction so the Ohio Pro-Life Generation is full steam ahead, focused on a win in November. Preborn life is on the ballot, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure our tiniest Ohioans are protected.