SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Ohio voters approved yesterday’s (Nov.8) Issue 1, which enshrines a right to abortion and the freedom to make other reproductive health decisions in the state constitution. The measure also prohibits discrimination on the basis of reproductive health decisions. This is in keeping with recent trends across the country—every pro-abortion measure that has appeared on statewide ballots since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade has been approved.
As for the state of South Dakota, the future of abortion rights remains a subject of uncertainty.
Dakotans for Health co-founder Rick Weiland observed, “Fifty-seven percent of the voters in Ohio said, ‘We want our rights back. We want to be able to have some options.’ I get so frankly upset when I think about what’s happened in South Dakota with the trigger law. Now, if a woman gets raped or if there’s a pregnancy that occurs as a result of incest, there are no options for women or for young children,” said Dakotans for Health co-founder Rick Weiland.
Dakotans for Health is working to place a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to abortion on the 2024 general election ballot. Weiland says the decision on these rights should be up to the voters, not the politicians.
Efforts to restrict access to reproductive healthcare in South Dakota in 2006 and 2008 were rejected by voters.
“We’re going to collect enough signatures. The voters are going to have a chance next November to weigh in on how much freedom they want. I think what we saw in Ohio and other states is that they want their reproductive rights restored,” said Weiland.
To get the measure placed on the ballot, Dakotans for Health must collect approximately 36,000 valid signatures, which is 10 percent of the total votes cast in the last general election.