A new report on the aftermath of the Issue 1 vote in Ohio finds that radical abortion activists spent almost $67 million buying the vote.
The incredible level of spending, with significant amounts of dark money coming into Ohio from out of state and out of the country, raises questions about whether the Issue 1 vote accurately depicts the will of Ohio voters or merely reflects an inordinate amount of leftist spending to buy votes.
“In Ohio, pro-abortion forces spent a staggering $66.7 million, outspending pro-life forces by a 2:1 margin to fuel a campaign centered on lies and deception to muscle through a constitutional amendment designed to allow unlimited, unregulated abortion,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said in a memo released Wednesday.
AP indicated that “the largest donations” supporting the pro-abortion “yes” campaign came from outside of Ohio. This included “three gifts totaling $5.3 million from the progressive Sixteen Thirty Fund, based in Washington, D.C.” The Sixteen Thirty Fund is largely bankrolled by Hansjörg Wyss, a Swiss billionaire.
Not only did abortion proponents outspend pro-life advocates, but they flooded the television airwaves and the Internet with false ads that erroneously claimed women would die without Issue 1 or would be denied health care or treatment for miscarriage or ectopic pregnancies. The truth is every single state with an abortion ban fully allows all medical care for pregnant women, including treatment for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies.
Dannenfelser explained, “The staggering sum spent by pro-abortion forces and the tens of millions of ‘in-kind’ contributions made by the media overwhelmed the ability of the pro-life movement and Governor DeWine to communicate the facts to the voters. In the closing weeks, pro-abortion forces outspent pro-life forces $19 million to $7.7 million on television, nearly a 3:1 advantage.”
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Dannenfelser wrote that pro-choice groups misleadingly framed Ohio Issue 1 as a situation where “women would be left to die” despite “clear language in Ohio’s law allowing for life-saving care.”
“Further, the ballot language deceived voters into thinking the amendment allows for limits on abortion after the point of viability,” Dannenfelser wrote. “In reality, the vague ‘health’ exception in its language is a major loophole that allows for late-term abortion without limit and allows the abortionist to determine viability.”
Dannenfelser complained that the media pumped up the false claims the ads made – doing no factchecking of the ads but making more false claims about the fact that Issue 1 would allow abortions up to birth.
The pro-life leader said pro-life Americans have to start working now in states like Missouri and Florida where more pro-abortion amendments are expected.
The Ohio results don’t reflect the attitude of Americans. The Ohio Issue 1 election results differ significantly from Gallup’s polling that it conducted on abortion this summer.
As Gallup notes, “Specifically, close to half of Americans, 47%, now say abortion should be legal in all (34%) or most (13%) circumstances, while a similar proportion, 49%, want it legal in only a few (36%) or illegal in all (13%) circumstances.”
That means 49 percent of Americans take a pro-life position opposing all or most abortions while a lower 47% take a pro-abortion position supporting all or most abortions.
Meanwhile, Ohio exit polling shows that one third of those who voted for Issue 1 don’t support abortions up to birth and voted for the measure to preserve very race exceptions such as rape, incest or life of the mother.
Even though Americans are still nominally pro-life overall, radical abortion activists are more angry that Roe was overturned than pro-life voters are happy about the Dobbs decision overturning it. That results in more abortion advocates turning out to the polls to vote for abortion because the smaller poll of pro-abortion voters are more incentivized to vote than the slightly larger poll of pro-life voters.
To counter this, pro-life groups need to a) emphasize the great things Dobbs accomplished – from saving babies to helping women, b) engage in more work to identify and turn out voters in elections, c) do more to fundraise and find large donors who can help the prolife movement overcome the massive fundraising disparity so it can counter the avalanche of false ads.
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