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MANSFIELD, Ohio (LifeSiteNews) – Clergymen representing 171 religious congregations in the Buckeye state have signed a joint letter urging Ohioans to vote against an upcoming ballot initiative to enshrine a “right” to effectively unlimited abortion in the Ohio Constitution, reminding the faithful of the Bible’s warning that ““Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person.” 

Drafted by the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and backed by the Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights (OPRR) advocacy arm Protect Choice Ohio (PCO), the proposed Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety Amendment posits a “right” to make “personal reproductive” decisions, “including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion,” which the state “shall not, directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against.”

Earlier this month, Ohio Attorney General David Yost released a legal analysis determining that the amendment, which is slated to be voted on November 7, would go far beyond the Roe v. Wade status quo activists are trying to restore, and block prohibitions on partial-birth and dismemberment abortions, allow abortionists to target disabled babies, and end parental consent requirements for abortion as well as minors’ contraception, sterilization, and gender “transition” decisions.

The joint statement by Ohio religious leader warns that the amendment’s language is “deceptively vague and detrimental to the basic, inalienable, and GOD-given rights of parents and children” and “will impose a blank check of abuses to occur on Ohio children,” reiterating many of the above details.

“Unfortunately, an approved constitutional amendment is much harder to reverse than laws which can be changed with each legislative session,” they note. “If this wicked Issue 1 passes, the Ohio Legislature will not be able to modify or regulate this language. Further, this diabolical language cannot be challenged in Ohio’s Supreme Court since the Court is obligated by law to abide by the State Constitution as approved by the voters of the state.”

“In Matthew 18, the Bible vigorously says, ‘But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea,’” they add.

Front Lines Ohio reported that several of the signatories gathered Wednesday outside of Richland Pregnancy Services for a press conference announcing the statement and sounding the alarm.

“Voters need to see the language of Issue 1 and “VOTE NO,” Pastor Dave Rentzel said. “The devil really is in the details.”

On October 6, an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 Ohioans descended on the state’s capital for the Ohio March for Life, many brandishing signs specifically calling for Issue 1 to be rejected.

The public awareness campaign Protect Women Ohio is also running a $5 million statewide advertising campaign in hopes of raising awareness of the amendment’s ramifications for gender-confused youth. PWO spokeswoman Amy Natoce has noted that the measure’s true nature “is so unpopular that [the ACLU] couldn’t even rely on grassroots support to collect signatures,” and instead “paid out-of-state signature collectors to lie to Ohioans” about it.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has directed each of its parishes to play for churchgoers a homily by Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, urging all Ohio Catholics to vote against the amendment, which he called a “clear threat to human life and dignity.”