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SUNBURY, Ohio (LifeSiteNews) — A priest in the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio had strong words for the “extreme” and “radical” ACLU-drafted ballot initiative to enshrine abortion as a “right” in the state constitution, calling on pro-life advocates to pray, fast, and vote to defeat the proposal at the ballot box. Specifically, he urged Catholics to vote “no” on the proposed amendment in November after voting “yes” on Issue 1 in August to strengthen the process for approving constitutional amendments.

“You may be aware that radical, out of state pro-abortion groups are trying to change our constitution in Ohio … ” said Father Daniel Dury, pastor of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Sunbury, Ohio, said in a video posted to social media Monday.

The proposal referenced by Dury would amend Article I of the Ohio state constitution to enshrine a “right” to “one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care and abortion,” as LifeSiteNews previously reported.

“This is extreme, it’s radical, we have to defeat it, period,” Fr. Dury said.

READ: Radical abortion amendment officially to appear on Ohio ballot in November

The priest offered four things that the pro-life faithful can do to help “defeat” the proposal.

“Number one, pray,” he said. “We pray that the Holy Spirit may come down upon us, this state, and soften hearts and minds to the will of God.”

He mentioned the words of Diocese of Columbus Bishop Earl Fernandes, who has previously expressed appreciation for attendees of the Traditional Latin Mass, and who recently responded to criticism about the Church being involved in “politics” in its opposition to the measure by pointing out that “abortion is a fundamental moral issue.”

“The amendment attacks the fundamental understanding of the human person, made in God’s image and likeness; undermines a fundamental anthropology; removes rights from parents; could potentially jeopardize the conscience rights of medical professionals; and represents an assault on human life and the human family,” Bishop Fernandes wrote earlier this month. 

“The issue of abortion is a fundamental moral issue, touching upon issues vital not only to our lives as Catholics (and the lives of vulnerable, unborn children) but also to the common good,” he said. “Once more, I urge all Catholics to register to vote and to vote No on the proposed amendment in November.”

In his homily, Fr. Dury echoed Fernandes’ words that opposition to the radical amendment “is not a political issue … ” but “a moral one. It’s a gospel of life issue.”

Secondly, Fr. Dury encouraged the faithful to fast. Joking that he “hate[s] fasting because I like to eat,” he highlighted the fact that fasting is nonetheless “very powerful, as our Lord says.”

READ: Pro-family group warns Ohio abortion amendment would end parental consent for child ‘transitions’

As a third point, the priest urged parishioners to share information about the proposal on social media.

“Tell others about the extreme nature of this amendment,” he said.

Lastly, Fr. Dury encouraged pro-life Catholics to “go out and vote.” 

“You must vote. It’s an obligation we have as citizens of this state,” he said.

Specifically, the priest encouraged the faithful to vote “yes” on Issue 1 in August, which will harden the constitutional amendment process by requiring a 60% supermajority to approve any proposed amendment rather than the current 50%-plus-one majority. 

Passing Issue 1 may be crucial to combat the radical proposal if current polling data is accurate. A new USA TODAY Network/Suffolk University poll of 500 likely Ohio voters conducted earlier this month found that respondents favored the pro-abortion amendment by a margin of 58%-32%. USA TODAY reported a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

After voting “yes” on Issue 1, Fr. Dury said, Catholics should vote “no” in November on the actual proposal that would enshrine the “right” to “reproductive decisions,” including abortion in the state constitution.

“Life is at stake. Parental rights are at stake,” he said. “This is a big deal.”

“Don’t let them fool you. We must stand up for life,” the priest concluded. “Go out and vote, my dear brothers and sisters.”

As LifeSiteNews previously reported, pro-abortion groups gathered a total of 700,000 signatures in favor of the ballot initiative across Ohio over the span of 12 weeks, according to local ABC affiliate News 5 Cleveland

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose determined that, of the submitted 700,000, a final tally of 495,938 were valid, crossing the threshold for the required 413,487 signatures. LaRose will now pass along the initiative to the Ohio Ballot Board, which will create the language describing the proposal that will be used on the ballot in November.

This article has been updated following publication for clarity.

1 million names against abortion Join us in urging the Supreme Court to stop the killing