Supporters of Ohio abortion rights amendment far outraising opponents

By: - October 30, 2023 4:50 am

Photos by WEWS.

Supporters of the proposal to protect access to abortion rights in Ohio have raised three times more than their opponents — and if you watch TV, you’ll notice the difference.

It’s the home stretch before the November election, and ads on Issue 1 are flooding the airwaves.

Issue 1 gives voters the choice if they want to legalize and protect access to abortion, contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care and continuing a pregnancy. It would also prohibit the state from interfering or penalizing an individual’s voluntary exercise of this right or anyone or entity that helps in utilizing this right.

Learn everything you need to know about Issue 1 by clicking here.

It’s a cause that Catholics for Choice’s Jamie Manson has donated nearly $40,000 to.

“What’s really essential is that people of faith speak up and take back the narrative from the bishops who insist you cannot be Catholic and support abortion rights,” Manson said.

Although Mark Harrington, with the anti-abortion group Created Equal, hasn’t donated that much to the opposition — he has spent $1.3 million on TV ads.

“Late-term abortions do happen despite what the other side is saying and that if issue one passes, they will expand in Ohio,” Harrington said.

It’s not just ads on your television; it’s on your freeways.

Catholics for Choice bought billboards in 30 cities across Ohio, leading to nine million impressions, Manson projected.

“The billboards are meant to tell Catholics they are not alone,” Manson said.

Harrington had the same idea. He also put up billboards across the major cities in the state.

“We generally get outspent,” he said. “So our ads really have to get to the heart of the matter.”

He’s right. Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights (OURR) has raised three times the amount of money that the anti-Issue 1 group Protect Women Ohio (PWO) has received, according to newly released campaign finance reports.

The vast majority of the money being donated on each side is coming from out-of-state groups.

OURR has pulled in about $30 million, while PWO sits at $10 million. OURR has spent roughly $21 million on media and ad buys, while PWO has spent about $ 6.8 million.

“We thought it was really important that faith groups that are pro-choice, especially Catholic groups, organize and mobilize and spend a little bit of money making it clear where Catholics actually stand on this issue because bishops have been able to organize and mobilize,” Manson said, referencing how the three largest dioceses in the state have donated $1.3 million into the anti-abortion side.

Both supporters and opponents will be increasing their efforts as election day gets closer — so you’ll see even more ads all the way through Nov. 7.


This article was originally published on and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content-sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets as it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.

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Morgan Trau
Morgan Trau

Morgan Trau is a political reporter and multimedia journalist based out of the WEWS Columbus Bureau. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Trau has previously worked as an investigative, political and fact-checking reporter in Grand Rapids, Mich. at WZZM-TV; a reporter and MMJ in Spokane, Wash. at KREM-TV and has interned at 60 Minutes and worked for CBS Interactive and PBS NewsHour.