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WATCH: 'Ohio Decides: An Issue 1 Forum,' discussing Ohio's Abortion Amendment

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Posted at 11:47 AM, Oct 17, 2023

The Ohio Debate Commission has teamed up with several news outlets to conduct a forum on Issue 1, Ohio’s Abortion Amendment, providing background on the upcoming ballot question and answers to questions from the public and journalists.

“Ohio Decides: An Issue 1 Forum” was conducted in collaboration with Spectrum News, the Columbus Dispatch and the Cincinnati Enquirer, according to a news release from the Ohio Debate Commission.

News 5 is proud to present this forum on its digital platforms. You can watch the forum in its entirety here:

Ohio Decides: An Issue 1 Forum

The forum consists of two segments: a background segment on Issue 1 with Spectrum News anchor Curtis Jackson and Jessie Balmart of the USA Today Network. The second segment, moderated by Jackson, includes questions from the public and journalists answered by a panel of experts, including:

  • Tyler Buchanan of Axios Columbus
  • Karen Kasler, bureau chief for the Statehouse News Bureau
  • Desiree Tims, president and CEO of Innovation Ohio, advocating in favor of Issue 1
  • Mehek Cooke, attorney and spokeswoman for Protect Woman Ohio, advocating against Issue 1

The forum will also be broadcast on the channels at the dates and times listed below:

Tuesday, Oct. 17 — 7 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 4 — 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 5 — 8 to 9 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 6 — 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Thursday, Oct. 19 at 10 p.m.


Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 8 p.m.


Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. on WHIZ-TV, NBC and Fox Channels

WVXU 91.7

Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.

In addition, the City of Club of Cleveland is hosting a separate forum on Issue 1 beginning at 11:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20.

That forum will be moderated by Rick Jackson, former senior host and producer for Ideastream Public Media, and will include:

  • Dr. Lauren Beene, co-founder and executive director, Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights
  • Mehek Cooke, attorney and spokeswoman for Protect Woman Ohio
  • Dan Kobil, professor of law, Capital University Law School
  • Additional panelists to be announced.

For more information and to submit questions or purchase tickets, click here.

November’s Issue 1, not to be confused with the failed Issue 1 in August that attempted to make it harder to amend the Ohio Constitution, is about protecting access to abortion for Ohioans.

The direct language of the amendment states, “Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care and abortion.”

It adds that the state can’t prohibit, interfere or penalize anyone for exercising this right.

Click here to read the initiative petition.

Ohio voters will decide whether to add this amendment to the Ohio Constitution on Nov. 7. A simple majority is required for Issue 1 to pass.

While Republican members of the Ohio Ballot Board recently made changes to the language of the amendment summary on the ballot for Issue 1, some of these changes were walked back after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on a lawsuit against them. In addition, these changes will not affect the language of the amendment itself, only how it is presented on the ballot.

Watch our latest report on those developments:

What to know about the Ohio abortion rights amendment lawsuit

Click here for continuing coverage of Issue 1 and abortion in Ohio.

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