Elections, as they say, have consequences. Last week in Ohio, voters approved an amendment to their state constitution that protects reproductive rights. But some GOP lawmakers apparently would rather damage democratic institutions than accept election results that they strongly oppose.
Ohio recently became the seventh state to enshrine the right to abortion into their state constitutions following the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Dobbs opinion, of course, overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that had recognized abortion rights under the U.S. Constitution since 1973. But despite the election result, some Ohio Republican legislators are refusing to accept the will of the people of their state.
Two days after the election, attacks on the democratic process came on three different bases. First, GOP Representative Jennifer Gross claimed, without evidence, that the amendment was passed as the result of “foreign election interference” with the money of “foreign billionaires.” If true, such outside influence would violate election laws. But there is nothing to suggest that the claim is true. This claim was made not by an extremist activist, but by an elected member of the Ohio legislature. A public official’s claim of foreign influence can undermine public confidence in elections, which, in turn, leads to voter apathy, and discourages them from casting ballots. Such cynicism erodes the strength of our democracy.