More than a dozen Catholic properties in Ohio have reported thefts and vandalism of their yard signs opposing Issue 1, the sweeping abortion-rights measure on the Nov. 7 ballot.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati said that churches, schools and cemeteries have seen dozens of “No on Issue 1” signs stolen or defaced amid a fierce political battle over the proposed state constitutional amendment that would prohibit virtually any restrictions on abortion access.
At the Incarnation Catholic Church in Centerville, pro-choice vandals spray-painted the front window to cover the “No on Issue 1” sign posted in the church’s interior on Oct. 18, then wrote “Vote Yes” on the black paint.
St. Bartholomew Church in Cincinnati reported that thieves removed six to eight “Vote No” yard signs Sunday night and replaced them with “Vote Yes” signs. The church quickly removed them and brought in new “Vote No” signs.
At St. Monica-St. George Church in Clifton, a large “Vote No” sign that had been secured to the ground was uprooted earlier this month and thrown in a nearby dumpster.
“It was found and placed back on the property,” the archdiocese said in a Tuesday press release. “This sign was then recently stolen.”
Other churches hit with vandalism and sign-thievery include the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati and St. Mary Church in Oxford, where “a large 8’x 8’ display sign on the property was cut in half while a 4’x 4’ sign was vandalized,” the archdiocese said.
“In addition, yard signs at St. Mary Church are being stolen multiple times a week,” the release said. “More than a dozen other church properties, Catholic high schools and cemeteries have reported theft of Vote No yard signs.”
Many of the incidents have been reported to police, the archdiocese said.
— Peter Range (@PeterRange12) October 29, 2023
The Issue 1 campaign has seen a massive flow of out-of-state cash as Ohio becomes the latest abortion battleground following the Supreme Court’s reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision that had made abortion a federal constitutional right.
Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, the pro-Issue 1 campaign, has outraised and outspent its pro-life opposition, collecting nearly $29 million through Oct. 18 versus $10 million for Protect Ohio Women, the No on Issue 1 camp.
Those backing Issue 1 include the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a major Democratic political funder in Washington, D.C., which contributed $5.3 million, and the Open Society Policy Center, part of Democratic billionaire George Soros’ network, which pitched in $3.5 million, according to WKCY-TV.
The biggest contributor to Protect Ohio Women was Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a Virginia-based group that gave $6.1 million. The Connecticut-based Knights of Columbus contributed $1 million.