Last night, the electorate of the state of Ohio voted to pass Issue 1 and Issue 2, concerning abortion and marijuana, respectively. At the time of writing, 92% of precincts have reported, and the vote share for Issue 1 is 55.67% voting Yes, while the vote share for Issue 2 is 56.37% also voting Yes.
Issue 1 amends the Ohio State Constitution to prevent the legislature from banning abortion until the point of fetal viability, but still allows abortion in cases of rape, incest, or risk to the life of the mother. The amendment also makes less specific declarations on the right to contraception and fertility treatment. The official Board of Elections-issued argument in favor seeks “to keep government out of our family’s personal decisions,” while the argument against seeks to “save human life, protect women, and defend parental rights.” Ballot language and arguments are available here.
How will these issues impact the student body of Ohio Northern? While other states have restricted access to pill-based abortion, Ohio Issue 1 protects this access in addition to contraception. ONU Healthwise Pharmacy provides a range of pharmacy and point-of-care services, such as dispensing drugs and counseling on medications, including abortion prescriptions. The Health Center at ONU offers contraception, which is also protected by Issue 1. Students may continue to use these services for the newly protected types of medicine going forward.
While consistent with the law, Ohio Northern’s student conduct policies have previously forbidden marijuana use. It is unclear whether this will change due to the passage of Issue 2, but the University’s stance on other non-illegal drugs may be of reference. ONU is a tobacco-free campus and permits alcohol consumption only in limited contexts, restricting possession to “private areas.” The student handbook also declares that ONU “supports alcohol-free lifestyles.”