(LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life groups are speaking out against the danger of a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would enshrine a “right” to effectively unlimited abortion in the Buckeye State.
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.”
The amendment says abortion may still be prohibited “after fetal viability,” except when in the “professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician it is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.” Pro-lifers have long argued that such “or health” language effectively renders abortion prohibitions meaningless, by giving abortionists the discretion to rationalize any abortion as “necessary” to their customer’s “health.”
Fox News reports that state abortion activists have formally submitted the amendment to Republican Attorney General Dave Yost’s office to be placed on the November 2023 ballot, and if approved, it will next need to receive 400,000 resident signatures before it can be put to the voters.
Pro-life leaders are speaking out against the implications of the amendment.
“This proposal is the abortion industry’s latest attempt to force their radical, out-of-touch agenda on Ohioans at the expense of babies and moms, including bringing painful late-term abortion to the state,” says Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America president Marjorie Dannenfelser. “It would ultimately endanger women and children by eliminating basic health and safety standards and even cancel the rights of parents who deserve to be informed and consent before their underage daughters would undergo such procedures.”
“Make no mistake, the abortion lobby is attempting to impose on Ohioans late-term abortion, paid for by taxpayers,” agreed Ohio Right to Life communications director Elizabeth Marbach, who said the initiative’s “extremely vague” was “even more dangerous” than originally anticipated. “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.”
Across the country, Planned Parenthood has suspended abortions and/or closed locations in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last June to overturn Roe v. Wade, and pro-life attorneys general have declared their intentions to enforce their states’ duly enacted abortion prohibitions.
But leftists prosecutors in various localities have vowed not to enforce such laws, and pro-abortion activists have refocused efforts on interstate distribution of abortion pills, supporting interstate travel for abortion, and enshrining “rights” to abortion in state constitutions, effectively insulating the practice from ordinary state legislation.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has called on Congress to codify a “right” to abortion in federal law, which would not only restore but expand upon the Roe status quo, by making it illegal for states to pass virtually any pro-life laws. Democrats currently lack the votes to do so, but whether they get those votes is sure to be one of the major issues of the 2024 elections.