Election results on Nov 7, 2023 from GOP-controlled Ohio confirmed a national trend-- when given the opportunity to express its will, the electorate is fiercely protective of reprodutive rights. Since the Supreme Court's June 24, 2022 Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organisation decision which overturned a 50 year old precedent which carefully balanced the rights of the mother and the foetus, seven states, many of which typically vote Red, have made clear the importance of personal autonomy. Ohio's 56.6-43.4 vote to enshrine a near unfettered right to an abortion in its Constitution is the latest rebuke to efforts to circumscribe a woman's right to choose.
“Our message was that private medical decisions should be left for people to make with their families and politicians should not be a part of those decisions,” said Lauren Beene, executive director of Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights and a leader of Protect Choice Ohio, the grass-roots organization that led the drive to have the issue on Tuesday's ballot.
That winning message applies even more resoundingly with end of life decisions, which are equally medical decisions best left to individuals and their families to navigate, free from a Big Brother intrusion by officious politicians.
For those who are militating for that even more compelling right of personal autonomy, the right to write one's own end of life narrative, free of government intrusion, the paradox is confounding. Red state after red state recognises that a woman's right to abort trumps whatever inchoate rights a foetus might have (at least up to a certain stage of pregnancy), and yet where the individual themself has made a reasoned decision based on the finality of an irreversible disease, the roadblocks to legislative progress seem impassable. We have as yet to see one distinctly Red state pass legislation... or in fact, even bring a measure up to vote.
While frustration at this impasse is understandable, the reality is opponents of MAID are like the little Dutch boy plugging holes in the dyke with his fingers: the path forward is inevitable because people overwhelmingly want the option. But it will take time and unadulterated patience.