Proposed personhood amendment in Ohio would ban abortion without exception

Three Christians are behind an initiative to protect all unborn babies that could be on the ballot in November.
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Fr. Mark Hodges By Fr. Mark Hodges

Fr. Mark Hodges By Fr. Mark Hodges

COLUMBUS, Ohio, September 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — A constitutional amendment declaring all conceived human children "persons" and making all abortions “without exception” illegal is in the process of becoming a ballot issue for Ohio voters to decide.

The proposed amendment, submitted to the state Attorney General’s office on September 2, would "prohibit abortion of all unborn human beings, without exception, and classifying it as aggravated murder in the state of Ohio."

Three Ohioans submitted the ballot proposal, which defines a preborn baby as "an individual organism ... from fertilization." Anthony Dipane of Monroe Falls, Laura Burton of Cleveland, and Dustin Paulson of Strasburg organized friends to garner 1,000 signatures needed to submit the amendment to Attorney General Mike DeWine's office.

The Attorney General determines whether the ballot language is proper and then the proposal goes to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to confirm signatures.

Dipane was matter-of-fact about the amendment, saying he, Burton and Paulson are "just three Christians in Ohio." He explained to The Columbus Dispatch, "We saw that since Roe v. Wade, no one had proposed a ballot issue saying you can't murder babies."

A proposed constitutional amendment must have citizen signatures numbering at least 10 percent of the votes cast for governor in the previous election, which equals 305,591. Additionally, the signatures must be from citizens living in at least half of Ohio's 88 counties.

The measure specifically does not affect in vitro fertilization, but bans abortion from conception “whether fertilized inside or outside of a human.”

At least one major pro-life leader supports taking the issue to Ohio voters. "I'm for any measure that will protect unborn children," Faith2Action President Janet Porter told LifeSiteNews. "It's time for pro-lifers to quit bickering and unite behind bringing abortion to an end by every means possible."

Porter is a former spokesperson for Ohio Governor John Kasich and the author of the proposed Heartbeat Bill, which would have protected every preborn child whose heartbeat can be detected. Her Heartbeat Bill divided pro-lifers throughout the state and was effectively stopped by "pro-life" Republicans in the state legislature.

In previous elections, has made similar attempts to recognize the personhood of preborn human beings. Their pamphlet notes the division among pro-lifers in Ohio:

“Some pro-life organizations invest their resources regulating abortion instead of banning it. They fear that if a statewide Personhood Amendment passed, the judiciary may overrule it and this would strengthen the Roe v. Wade decision,” PersonhoodOhio explains.

“Their argument is perfectly reasonable IF there is no God. We choose, however, to believe God’s Word and to lovingly fulfill our duty to protect ‘the least of these’ as we would want to be protected.”

“Implied in the objection of these pro-life organizations is that states should submit unto judicial tyranny,” PersonhoodOhio reasons. However, “Any man-made law that is contrary to the Constitution is void. … The battle is the Lord’s.”

The three authors of the pro-life state constitutional amendment are not affiliated with any organization. "We don't take donations. We don't pay people. We're financing this out of our pockets at this point," Dipane said.

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