Pro-life supporters suffered a defeat in Ohio on Tuesday, as voters disapproved Issue 1, a ballot measure which would have raised the threshold needed to change the state’s constitution from 50% to 60%.

The Ohio legislature proposed Issue 1 to protect the state’s constitution from out-of-state dark money groups who seek influence Ohio’s laws to protect abortion.

In November, Ohioans will vote on another ballot measure, the Ohio Right to Make Reproductive Decisions Including Abortion Initiative (2023). This measure would legalize abortion in Ohio up until the moment of birth and permit minors to undergo life altering transgender medical interventions without their parents’ knowledge or consent. In other words, the fight goes on.

But what lessons should pro-life supporters take away from the defeat of Issue 1 this week? Here are two ideas to consider.

Supporters of Life Must Reevaluate Tactics

When sports teams are down at halftime, what do they do?

They reevaluate tactics, adjust the game plan, and redouble their efforts going into the second half. It’s time for the pro-life movement to do the same.

So far, post-Dobbs, the pro-life movement is 0-7 in convincing voters to support life at the ballot box. We lost six of six ballot measures last year, and now Issue 1 can be added to that list.

Solutions are not readily apparent. No matter what certain polls may say, moral relativism and subjectivism are deeply ingrained in Americans’ psyche, and we’re seeing that play out at the ballot box.

After Issue 1’s failure, Patrick T. Brown, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, tweeted, “The Ohio result tonight, coming on the heels of the shellacking in Michigan and the unexpected loss in Kentucky, needs to be a five-alarm fire for the pro-life movement.”

He added:

I wasn’t expecting this to pass, and the fight is obviously not over – but the playbook being run by the pro-choice side is very clear. The cause of life has to adapt, even if that means unwelcome compromise for the time being. We’ll keep getting run into the ground if we don’t.

Brown also wrote an op-ed for CNN, stating, “No one who fought to see Roe v. Wade overturned, least of all me, had a satisfactory game plan for the battles that would ensue following Roe’s demise.”

What that game plan looks like must be a serious discussion for the pro-life movement going forward.

Supporters of Life Remain Committed No Matter What

Additionally, pro-life supporters must continue to protect the lives of innocent, preborn babies and the hearts and consciences of millions of mothers.

This is a fight we must win, and we can never, ever, ever stop working to protect preborn babies until all life in the womb is protected.

Our cause is righteous. Our case is compelling. And our conditions for victory are absolute.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson memorialized the importance of courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds in his poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade, about the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. It was fought on October 25, 1854; 600 British soldiers charged a larger and stronger Russian army in a vain attempt to overtake the Russian’s artillery battery.

Part of poem is as follows:

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”

Was there a man dismayed?

Not though the soldier knew

   Someone had blundered.

   Theirs not to make reply,

   Theirs not to reason why,

   Theirs but to do and die.

   Into the valley of Death

   Rode the six hundred.


Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon in front of them

   Volleyed and thundered;

Stormed at with shot and shell,

Boldly they rode and well,

Into the jaws of Death,

Into the mouth of hell

   Rode the six hundred…


When can their glory fade?

O the wild charge they made!

   All the world wondered.

Honour the charge they made!

Honour the Light Brigade,

   Noble six hundred!

Sometimes, when a cause is righteous, it’s worth fighting for – no matter the result.

This is true in the fight for life.

And, unlike the charge of the British regiment, our cause is far from hopeless. For we have the Victorious One on our side.

Honor the charge we made.

Honor the Life Brigade,

Noble pro-life supporters.

Related articles and resources:

Center for Christian Virtue

Eyes Turn to November Abortion Vote After Ohioans Vote Down Issue 1

Protect Women Ohio Launches $5.5 Million Ad Buy to Support Issue 1 in Final Week

Abortion Activists Double Down on Ballot Measures to Roll Back Pro-Life Laws and Solidify Abortion Gains

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