Ohio Ballot Board Approves Condensed Version of Abortion Amendment for November Election

The Ohio Ballot Board on Thursday rejected using the full text of a proposed amendment for the November ballot that would enshrine abortion into the state Constitution, instead adopting a condensed version of the text written by the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

The board approved the condensed language, now titled Issue 1 for the November general election, in a 3-2 split decision. The board can decide to use the full text of the proposed amendment or use a condensed version of the text for the ballot language.

In the summary wording accepted by the board, the word “fetus” is replaced with “unborn child,” and the word “decision” is replaced with “medical treatment.” The summary language also changes the phrase “pregnant patient” to “pregnant woman.” The condensed version also removes the language “the right to abortion, as well as contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care, and continuing one’s own pregnancy.”

The summary language does not alter what the actual amendment would say in the state Constitution but is the last representation of the amendment Ohioans read before casting their vote.

The full text of the amendment will be available at the boards of elections during the election but not in the ballot booths during the actual vote.

The Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom proposedThe Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety,” which would add Section 22 to Article 1 of the state Constitution.

The proposal would remove Ohio’s parental notification legislation when a minor wants an abortion and the requirement that abortionists adhere to fundamental hospital health and safety standards. The proposal also aims to permit abortions far after babies have heartbeats and can feel pain.

Attorney Donald McTigue, representing the petitioners for the constitutional amendment, sent a letter to the ballot board on Monday requesting that the board use the full text of the proposed amendment, arguing that by using the full text, no one can dispute if the ballot language satisfies legal standards or if the condensed text misleads, deceives or defrauds voters.

Ohio Secretary of State and Chairman of the Ballot Board Frank LaRose said that the “sole purpose” of the ballot board was only to prescribe the language and adopt the ballot language and explanations for the proposed constitutional amendment not to “debate the merits of the issue.”

State Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) said she believes that “This is a dangerous amendment that I’m going to fight tirelessly against.”

Pro-Life organization Ohio Right to Life wants Ohioans to vote against this ballot measure come November.

“This ballot initiative is another shameful attempt by the abortion lobby to capitalize off painful situations to force upon Ohio citizens abortions until birth, remove parental rights, and cancel health and safety standards for abortion mills to abide by. Ohioans must protect vulnerable women and pre-born children against predatory out-of-state interest groups and vote against this come November,” Ohio Right to Life told The Ohio Star.

Because Ohio voters defeated Issue 1 earlier this month at the polls, which would have raised the threshold to approve a constitutional amendment, the amendment only requires a simple majority to pass.

– – –

Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star, The Star News Network, and The Arizona Sun Times. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Abortion Supporters” by Becker1999. CC BY 2.0.






Related posts