Ohio Pro-Abortion Activists Announce Language for November Ballot Initiative

The Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom, a coalition of radical pro-abortion activists that includes Planned Parenthood, Pro-Choice Ohio, the Abortion Fund of Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, along with the Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights, unveiled the language of their ballot initiative to enshrine abortion in the Ohio Constitution in the November general election on Tuesday.

The proposal would remove Ohio’s parental notification legislation when a minor wants an abortion, as well as 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.

The group submitted “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety” amendment and summary to the Ohio Attorney General for review Tuesday afternoon.

“Now that we have taken this critical first step in the process we are eager to begin collecting the signatures needed to place the amendment on the ballot,” Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights president Dr. Marcela Azevedo said.

Ohio OB/GYN Dr. Lillian Miller said as a physician she rejects this dangerous measure.

“As an Ohio physician committed to the highest standards of care for all of my patients, I am opposed to this initiative. This abortion-industry-led proposal lowers health and safety standards for women and girls by allowing abortions to skirt basic hospital health and safety standards. As someone who has dedicated her life to protecting and preserving my patients’ health and well being, I reject this dangerous measure,” Miller said.

According to Ohio Right to Life’s Director of Communications Elizabeth Marbach, this ballot initiative’s phrasing is rather ambiguous, which makes it considerably riskier than initially thought.

“The language of this ballot initiative is extremely vague, making it even more dangerous than we originally believed it would be. Make no mistake, the abortion lobby is attempting to impose on Ohioans late-term abortion, paid for by taxpayers. They believe that they can rewrite our state Constitution to eliminate all protections for the unborn, including abortions after the point at which babies feel pain—endangering the health and well-being of both women and children,” Marbach said.

Director of Christian Engagement at The Center for Christian Virtue (CCV) Ruth Edmonds echoed Marbach’s concerns saying that this amendment is too dangerous for Ohio.

“This dangerous rewrite of our constitution would eliminate the basic rights of parents who would no longer need to be informed or provide consent for their minor daughter to have an abortion. It would outlaw health and safety regulations that protect women, and the proposed changes provide no protection for women who feel pressured or coerced to get an abortion. This amendment is too dangerous for Ohio,” Edmonds said.

According to State Representative Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) the amendment will create a right to late-term abortions.

“Effectively, this would create a constitutional right to late-term abortions, since it would be allowed in any instance in which an abortionist decides that abortion is “necessary to protect the patient’s health.” They’ll cite “mental health” & allow abortion well past viability,” Stewart said.

Stewart continued that amendment is completely smoke and mirrors.

“The abortion amendment language is ghoulish on many levels, but the smoke & mirrors on “fetal viability” is particularly creepy. It’s defined as there being a “significant likelihood of survival” outside the womb. So, if there’s merely a “likelihood of survival” – abortion away. There’s virtually no abortion restrictions that would survive this amendment’s gauntlet of caveats, exceptions, loopholes, & escape hatches. It’s smoke & mirrors,” Stewart said.

The text of the proposed amendment also does not say woman, female, or mother but rather “individual” and “pregnant patient.”

“They literally can’t even bring themselves to say the word “woman,” Stewart said.

According to Ohio Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou, the abortion lobby is drastically at odds with Ohio ideals

“The abortion lobby is wildly out-of-step with Ohio values, and their vague language is a Trojan horse for taxpayer funded, late-term abortion on demand,” Triantafilou said.

The attorney general will have up to 10 days to approve the summary of the amendment in accordance with the laws governing the procedure for citizen-initiated constitutional amendments. If accepted, the Ohio Ballot Board receives certification from the attorney general and has up to 10 days to assess whether the text in question contains only one constitutional amendment. The attorney general submits the amendment and its summary to the Secretary of State when the Ballot Board certifies it. The petitioners can then start collecting signatures across the state. By July 5, 2023, the groups must gather and present 413,488 legally binding signatures.

CCV President Aaron Baer urged Ohio lawmakers to move quickly to pass State Representatives  Stewart’s and Derek Merrin‘s (R-Monclova) joint resolution to increase the threshold to amend the Constitution to 60 percent.

“We also cannot allow liberal and pro-abortion special interests to attempt to buy their way into Ohio’s Constitution. Every pro-life lawmaker must move quickly to pass Representative Brian Stewart and Leader of House Republicans Derek Merrin’s Joint Resolution to increase the threshold to amend the Constitution to 60 percent,” Baer said.

Last month, Stewart and Merrin along with 30-plus GOP co-sponsors re-submitted the “Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment” which aims to require support from at least 60 percent of voters rather than a simple majority to pass future proposed amendments that lawmakers introduced last legislative session.

Although Stewart said that there was ample time to have the “Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment” on the May ballot, it did not pass in the Ohio House and Senate prior to the February 1st deadline.

Lawmakers now face an August 9th deadline to get the proposal before voters in November. In order for Stewart to get his resolution on the November ballot, three-fifths of the members in both chambers have to approve the resolution first. In the House, that’s 60 votes.

– – –

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



Related posts