WASHINGTON, DC – New reporting from Lever News highlighted Leonard Leo’s efforts to continue his decades-long anti-abortion crusade — this time in Ohio. Ohio campaign finance records reveal that Leo’s Concord Fund — a key group in his extensive dark money network — dumped a whopping $18 million into efforts to oppose Issue 1, a ballot initiative enshrining reproductive rights in the Ohio constitution.
Leonard Leo has spent his entire career working to end abortion access at all levels of government, stripping millions of women of their critical rights and freedoms. Leo leveraging his billion-dollar network to meddle in this election has dangerous, life-altering repercussions for Ohioans and Americans everywhere,” said Accountable.US president Caroline Ciccone.
After pro-choice Ohioans successfully placed an abortion measure on the November 2023 ballot, an elusive dark money coalition group called Protect Women Ohio (PWO) was established to oppose Issue 1. Thanks to Leo, the group is incredibly well-funded. Protect Women Ohio has reported raising $31 million to this point — meaning the donations from Leo’s network account for around two thirds of the funds raised by the committee.
The group has swarmed voters with TV and digital ads — including ads that misleadingly suggest that Issue 1 would allow abortions at any time during pregnancy.
Leo’s attempt to tip the scales in Ohio closely mirrors his strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade. Over a dozen of the Protect Women Ohio coalition members have ties to Alliance Defending Freedom, the prominent conservative group using the courts to impose an unpopular, anti-choice agenda on Americans. Alliance Defending Freedom’s right-wing lawyers helped write the abortion restrictions at issue in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and coordinated claims against Roe. ADF is currently driving the lawsuit challenging mifepristone, a popular, widely-used abortion pill.
Before Dobbs, Leo and his allies laid the groundwork to eliminate abortion rights through statewide action, with key conservative groups expanding their state affairs teams in critical battleground states.
Learn more about Leo, his dark money network, and his dangerous agenda at LeonardLeo.org.