CINCINNATI, Ohio (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati has urged all Catholics to vote no on a proposed state amendment that would enshrine a so-called “right” to abortion in the Ohio constitution.
In a pre-recorded homily that every parish in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati was directed to play at Masses over this past weekend, the archbishop directed all Catholics to take a stand at the ballot this November for the protection of the unborn by voting no on Issue 1.
“We cannot remain silent on a direct ballot question like the one in November, which is a clear threat to human life and dignity,” the archbishop said. “Please pray earnestly for its defeat. Please educate yourself, your family and your friends about its dangers. Please vote ‘no’ on Issue 1 on November 7.”
The archbishop’s homily was played at Masses on the Sunday that the U.S. bishops have designated as Respect Life Sunday. The ballot measure, Issue 1, which Ohio residents will vote on this November 7, seeks to “enshrine the right to abort innocent life in the womb at any moment of pregnancy while harming women and families in the process,” Schnurr warned. “The state of Ohio is at a crossroads in deciding how to protect women and the unborn.”
Abortion in Ohio is currently legal until 22 weeks of pregnancy. In 2019, GOP Gov. Mike DeWine signed a heartbeat law that bans abortions around six weeks. However, a judge blocked that measure indefinitely. The Ohio Supreme Court is expected to hear the case imminently. The Akron Beacon Journal has reported that Ohio currently has nine abortion clinics, down from 23 in 2010.
Schnurr told Catholics that voting no on Issue 1 “effectively maintains the status quo on the issue of abortion in Ohio. It leaves it up to the legislature and court to determine how accessible or how limited abortion will be.”
On the other hand, he warned, the wording of the abortion proposal is “so broad and so vague that a yes vote opens up the right to abortion with no restrictions: no term restrictions, no age restrictions, no parental notification restrictions.”
“This must not be our society’s response to women facing crisis pregnancies,” the archbishop declared.
Calling instead for a response that actually helps women in need during a crisis pregnancy, Schnurr insisted, “Rather, it must be more love, more accompaniment, and more resources to women in need. It should also involve a compassionate, non-judgmental path to hope and healing for those who have been affected by abortion as is offered through our Project Rachel ministries.”
“An expectant mother can face many challenges, including lack of support from the father, financial strains, concerns about her health and pressure from family and friends. In such times, every woman should be able to depend upon a community of support both during pregnancy and after a child is born,” he said.
“And whatever may result after this vote, our work in the vineyard does not end. Please let us continue to do all that we can to care for women, children, and families in need through our public advocacy and through the many charitable organizations designed to help.”
In an August 12 pastoral letter, Archbishop Schnurr had previously alerted the faithful that with the November 7 ballot measure, “Ohioans will have the opportunity to demonstrate how our state views the sacredness of life and the dignity of women.”
He warned then that the proposed amendment would “put women at risk,” “threaten parental rights,” and “allow abortion through 9 months of pregnancy.”
“This amendment would enable elimination of some of the most basic, fundamental safety regulations on abortion clinics, including the current requirement for an abortion to be performed by a licensed physician,” the archbishop wrote.
“The vague language in the amendment opens the door to anyone under 18 having an abortion, or even beginning cross-sex hormone treatment [sic], without parental consent or notification,” Schnurr said, warning that the gruesome method of murder by dismemberment could still be used on a fully developed baby.
“The amendment provides caveats such that a healthy, fully-formed infant in the womb who otherwise could be delivered with no issues would still be a candidate for a surgical dismemberment abortion.”
Denouncing this abhorrent barbarism, the archbishop declared, “We must reject this extraordinary and dangerous attempt to radically reshape Ohio through a constitutional amendment that does nothing to aid women or promote life.”
Then taking issue with the deceptive arguments pro-abortionists are offering to garner support for the measure, Schnurr continued, “The amendment’s supporters will claim that its passage is necessary to preserve medical treatment for women who experience miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies. This is not true.”
“No Ohio laws – or the laws of any U.S. state, for that matter – prevent such treatment,” the archbishop clarified. “Hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, and physicians have always provided comprehensive miscarriage care, and will continue to do so regardless of the outcome of this vote.”
Archbishop Schnurr has also urged Ohio Catholics to offer a 54-day Rosary novena “for the protection of human life and dignity and the defeat of Issue 1 on the Ohio ballot this November.”
On Sunday, August 6, national grassroots organization Catholics for Catholics held a Rosary rally outside of Cincinnati just prior to a special election that included a measure that would have changed the process to amend the Ohio constitution by raising the threshold from a simple 50% plus one majority vote to a 60% requirement, making it more difficult to enshrine abortion as a so-called “right” in the November election.
The measure was defeated in the August election.