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Students voice opinions on State Issue 1

Yasmeen Matthews
As Issue 1 voting nears, The words “Not Abortion” in chalk are erased with water on the “K” on Oct. 18, 2023.

With abortion on the ballot in November, students are urging fellow peers to vote “Yes” or “No.”

Issue 1 is a citizen-initiative to amend Ohio’s constitution and ensure abortion protections and the right to make personal reproductive decisions such as contraception, fertility treatment and miscarriage care. 

In the state of Ohio, abortion is legal up to 22 weeks of pregnancy. A 2019 law banning abortions after 6 weeks remains frozen, pending action by the Ohio Supreme Court. 

Autumn Pritchard, a senior fashion design major, said they believe “everyone should be voting ‘Yes’ on Issue 1.” 

They organized an abortion-rights protest in downtown Kent last June after the overturn of Roe v. Wade

Pritchard is advocating for Issue 1 not solely because it will protect abortion procedures but also because it will ensure a right to privacy. 

“It protects fertility care, your right to contraceptives, and the ability to make private health care decisions with your providers as well,” Pritchard said. 

Kent State Flashes for Life, a pro-life student organization on campus, states that it believes life begins at conception.

President of FFL and junior entrepreneurship major Laneyah Pringle said she believes Ohio voters should vote “No” on Issue 1. 

“Ohio voters should vote ‘No’ on Issue 1 because the value of life is at the moment of conception,” Pringle said. “If you truly are against the act of murder, then of course you vote ‘No.’” 

Pringle said even if Issue 1 doesn’t pass, abortion is still legal in Ohio. She said she will continue to work towards a ban on abortions in the state. 

“Majority of people are probably against late-term abortion up to nine months,” Pringle said. “So, therefore, you still get the option for abortion, but it’s like choosing the best of the worst.”

The proposed amendment would make abortion legal up until fetal viability, which is defined as when the fetus can survive outside the uterus. According to fetal development research from the Cleveland Clinic, a fetus may survive outside the womb at the 23-week mark with intensive care.  

If a doctor confirms that the pregnancy is a danger to the pregnant individual’s life or health, abortion would be allowed regardless of the decision Issue 1.

Isabella Harter, vice president of FFL and a junior zoology major, said she thinks abortion is wrong in cases even before viability. 

“I don’t believe that the value of the child is whether or not it can survive on its own, because it will always survive on its own given enough time,” she said.

Having engaged the community in actions in the past, Pritchard said they believe there is support for passing Issue 1. 

“The vast majority of Ohioans do believe in abortion access and health care,” Pritchard said. 

Early voting in Portage County runs until Nov. 5 at the Board of Elections office located at 449 S. Meridian St. in Ravenna. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, Election Day. 

To find more information about voter registration as well as polling locations visit

Clara Wicinski is a contributor. Contact her at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Yasmeen Matthews, Assistant Photo Editor
Yasmeen is a sophomore Photography Major and KentWired's Assistant Photo Editor. She enjoys taking photos of the various sports teams as well as student life on Kent's campus. Contact her @[email protected].

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