John Legend Urges Ohioans to Vote to Protect Abortion Days After Governor Claims There’s No Need

The EGOT-winning singer comes out in support of Issue 1, which would codify abortion rights in the state constitution.

John Legend Urges Ohioans to Vote to Protect Abortion Days After Governor Claims There’s No Need
Photo:Getty Images; Twitter/OURR2023

Springfield, Ohio, native John Legend is continuing his vocal support for abortion rights—while actually saying the word!—and we simply love to see it.

Legend cut an ad for Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights where he encourages voters to “stand up for our families and our freedoms” by voting for Issue 1, the ballot measure that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. He even managed to take a subtle dig at Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) in the process.

“My fellow Ohioans, our chance to stop the government’s extreme abortion ban is on the ballot in November,” Legend says in the clip. “Issue 1 will get politicians out of personal decisions about abortion. So it’s time for us to vote yes on Issue 1 by November 7th. Early voting starts October 11th, you can vote early now. Let’s stand up for our families and our freedoms.” (The ad is on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, as well as on YouTube.)


You heard it from @JohnLegend: Let’s stand up for our families and our freedoms. @ You can VoteYesOnIssue1 right now! #vote #ohio #abortionrights #earlyvoting

♬ original sound – Ohioans United 4 Repro Rights

When Legend mentions “the government’s extreme abortion ban,” he’s referring to a six-week ban that DeWine signed in 2019. That law is currently on hold due to lawsuits, but the state Supreme Court recently held a hearing and could let it take effect at any time. For now, abortion is available through 22 weeks—but that could change in short order, especially if Issue 1 were to fail. If Issue 1 were to pass, it would invalidate the ban.

DeWine recorded his own video recently in which he completely ignores that he signed the six-week ban and merely says that the ballot measure is “just not right for Ohio.” reports that anti-abortion activists and lawmakers are no longer talking about the six-week ban they once supported, and are instead telling voters that abortion is legal in Ohio through 22 weeks, which is only true for now. This is nothing more than a lie by omission and is designed to make people think they don’t need to protect abortion in the state constitution because everything is fine. Everything is not fine, and Legend’s ad makes it clear that Issue 1 would block DeWine’s ban.

Republican lawmakers tried to thwart ballot measures like Issue 1 in August, by asking voters to raise the threshold for passage from 50% to 60%. (Legend even knocked on doors in Ohio and attended a July rally to help defeat the proposal.) That effort failed spectacularly, so Issue 1 only needs a simple majority to pass.

A poll released Tuesday from Baldwin Wallace University found support for Issue 1 at 58%. Voters will also weigh in on recreational marijuana in Issue 2, and 57% supported that measure. Only time will tell if abortion is actually more popular than weed.

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