In Losing Effort, Ohio’s Catholic Dioceses Spent Over $1.7 million to Fight Issue 1

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The church in Ohio spent more than $1.7 million trying to convince voters to reject the amendment. Priests preached about the evils of abortion. Bishops attended fundraisers and recorded videos declaring the amendment “radical” and “extreme.” Catholics went door-to-door, held vigils, passed out glossy flyers and put extra cash in the collection basket.

Through the end of October, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati alone contributed more than $1 million to the Protect Women Ohio political action committee that led the charge against Issue 1, according to state campaign finance records. The Diocese of Columbus kicked in $500,000 and the Diocese of Cleveland gave another $200,000. Those totals don’t include separate, undisclosed expenditures by the dioceses themselves for ads, signs and campaign flyers, such as the “Vote NO” mailer the archdiocese sent last week to 125,000 households in 19 counties.

 At a time when some parishes and schools struggle to pay the bills, the church’s investment was significant. The archdiocese’s $1 million contribution to the campaign is roughly what it cost the church to run Catholic Charities last year.

In a landslide, Issue 1 passed 57%-43%.


About six-in-ten Americans (62%) say abortion should be legal in all (29%) or most (33%) cases. Around a third of the public (36%) says abortion should be illegal in all (8%) or most (28%) cases.

Two-thirds of women (66%) say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, compared with a narrower majority (57%) of men.

Pew Research Center 

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