A steamy political ad that was used to campaign against the re-election of Ohio congressman Steve Chabot has been tweaked for the Issue 1 debate.
In the ad, a man and woman are passionately kissing in bed, wearing only their underwear. “Do you have a condom?” the woman asks. He affirms that he does and opens the drawer of a nearby nightstand, reaching for the condom.
Suddenly, a hand snatches away the rubber, causing the couple to yelp and cover up with a sheet. The camera cuts to a much older, white-haired man, who creepily says, “Sorry, you can’t use those.”
“What are you talking about? Who are you?” the woman demands. “I’m your Republican Congressman. Now that we’re in charge, we’re banning birth control,” he replies calmly.
The woman is clearly confused and disgusted. “This is our decision, not yours! Get out of our bedroom!” she tells him.
“I won the last election. I’m not going anywhere,” he says matter-of-factly. “I’m just going to watch and make sure you don’t do anything [dramatic pause] illegal.”
Where the ad once said “KEEP STEVE CHABOT OUT OF YOUR BEDROOM. VOTE ON NOV. 8” it now reads “KEEP REPUBLICANS OUT OF YOUR BEDROOM. VOTE NO ON AUG. 8.”
The millennial-run Super PAC Progress Action Fund released the revised ad on July 12, one day into early voting on Issue 1 in Ohio.
“Republicans are obsessed with telling every Ohioan what they can and cannot do in their own bedroom. The GOP should really stand for ‘Grand Old Perverts,'” said
“Republicans are obsessed with telling every Ohioan what they can and cannot do in their own bedroom. The GOP should really stand for ‘Grand Old Perverts,'” said Joe Jacobson, founder and executive director of Progress Action Fund.
What is Issue 1?
The Aug. 8 special election is being held only to vote on Issue 1, which Republicans have brought forward to make it harder for voters to amend the Ohio Constitution by raising the threshold from 50% to 60%. That means a simple majority, or 50% +1 vote, would no longer be considered a win for amending the Ohio Constitution.
Passing Issue 1 would impact voters’ ability to successfully legalize abortion in the state, which is set to go before voters in November. Other initiatives that would be impacted include changing marijuana laws and and raising the minimum wage.
What does Issue 1 have to do with my sex life?
At first, Ohio Republicans argued the change was to protect the state from outside interference amending the Ohio constitution. But, according to Ohio Capital Journal/WEWS, Republican Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said during a May 22 Seneca County Lincoln Day dinner that Issue 1 is, “100% about keeping a radical pro-abortion amendment out of our constitution.”
While the Aug. 8 election will have major impacts on all things Ohio politics, it most notably will determine what chances voters will have to enshrine abortion rights in Ohio’s Constitution. Abortion advocates are attempting to amend the Ohio Constitution to enshrine reproductive autonomy protections in the state. The signature campaign to get on the ballot, led by Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights, gathered more than 700,000 signatures across 44 counties to make it to the ballot; much more than the 413,000 required.
As it stands, PEW research data shows 48% of Ohioans think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, 47% said it should be illegal in all or most cases, and 4% were unsure.
Some Republicans in the state aren’t comfortable with bumping up the threshold to amend the constitution for the sake of keeping an abortion ban on the books.
Former Ohio Governor Bob Taft, a Republican, spoke out forcefully against it in April, saying “I urge you (1) not to revive the August special election and (2) not to support a constitutional amendment to raise from a simple majority to 60% the voter approval threshold for amendments to the Ohio Constitution,” in a letter to members of the General Assembly.
But Ohio Republicans prevailed. State lawmakers in the House and Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 2 on May 10, achieving their mission to bring Issue 1, and all of its implications about the future of abortion care, to the ballot.
What are abortion laws in Ohio right now?
After the Dobbs decision last June, Ohio’s six-week abortion ban went into effect for about 11 weeks until a Hamilton County judge put a temporary restraining order on the bill. While the “heartbeat” bill has been held up in court, abortion has been legal in Ohio up until about 22 weeks gestation.
Research out of the University of Cincinnati shows Ohioans have experienced major difficulties getting abortions in the state since Roe was overturned in June 2022, especially in the weeks following the “heartbeat” ban. Patients were forced out of state for care in many cases.
Data on the impact of Dobbs on Ohio patients is still being collected by researchers at
Ohio Policy Evaluation Network (OPEN), but preliminary numbers in a February report show the overall number of abortions in the region decreased following the Dobbs decision.
Ohio facilities saw a 56% decrease in abortion provision (845 fewer abortions) comparing July 2021 and July 2022 and a 51% decrease (690 fewer abortions) comparing August 2021 to August 2022. OPEN estimates more than 1,500 patients who would have received care in Ohio pre-Dobbs were unable to receive care in July and August 2022.
Many Ohioans also left the state to seek abortion care in 2022 compared to 2021, according to the study.
Of the 389 Ohioans in OPEN’s sample that left Ohio in July and August of 2022, 32% went to Illinois, 20% to Indiana, 6% to Kentucky, 33% to Michigan, and 10% to Pennsylvania. Only 72 Ohioans left the state for care in July and August 2021.