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“All eyes are on Ohio”: Proposed amendment would allow abortion up to birth and undermine parental rights


After a series of grave defeats on ballot measures last year, pro-lifers are hoping to hold the line this year in the heart of America’s Heartland.

Campaigning has ramped up in Ohio over Issue 1, a proposed amendment to the Ohio constitution that critics say would not only force the state to permit abortion up until birth but also allow minors to obtain abortions or transgender surgeries without parental consent.

If an Ohioan votes “yes,” that is a vote to adopt the amendment.

Both pro-abortion and pro-life advocates have been out in force to rally supporters to their side by voting “no.”

Pro-life opponents point to the language of Issue 1, which they say makes it clear that it will do far more than prevent a ban on abortion.

According to the exact wording of the ballot, the amendment would:

Critics point to the language allowing a woman’s physician, or an abortionist, full autonomy to determine whether a child is viable and to conclude that even after “viability” a child may be aborted for the “health” of the mother. Such standards would allow a physician to perform an abortion even if the mother’s mental health may be affected, such as anxiety or depression that can sometimes accompany pregnancy and motherhood.

Opponents also argue that the vague phrase “including but not limited to abortion” could mean that those performing transgender surgeries or other surgeries to sterilize or mutilate a person’s reproductive organs could be given immunity from any legal restrictions, such as bans on sex reassignment surgeries for minors.

In a legal analysis of the constitutional amendment being proposed, Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost stated:

The Amendment does not specifically address parental consent. However, the parental-consent statute would certainly be challenged on the basis that Issue 1 gives abortion rights to any pregnant ‘individual,’ not just to a “woman.” Before Roe was reversed, parental consent laws were regularly challenged in courts. If Issue 1 passes, the question for a court will be whether the term ‘individual’ includes a ‘minor.’ There is no guarantee that Ohio’s parental-consent law will remain in effect.”

The pro-abortion lobby has been particularly active on this issue in Ohio. Gabriel Mann, communications director for Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, voiced his support for the amendment. “As a husband and a father, I’m supporting Issue 1. Voting ‘yes’ on Issue 1 will stop this abortion ban and put Ohioans back in charge of our families’ personal medical decisions.”

Ohio’s “abortion ban” actually only restricts abortion after six weeks’ gestation and is not in effect, as it is still being litigated after a judge blocked the law in 2022. Currently, abortion is legal up to 22 weeks in Ohio.

While a majority of Americans think abortion should be legal, polling shows that about 70 percent of Americans want abortion restricted. For example, a Harvard poll found that 37 percent thought abortion should only be legal in the case of rape or incest, 12 percent thought it should only be legal up to six weeks, and 23 percent thought it should only be legal up to 15 weeks; 15 weeks is among the most permissive standards for nations around the globe. Only 28 percent thought abortion should be legal after 15 weeks.

Despite Americans’ views that abortion should be restricted, ballot amendments that legalize abortion up to birth have achieved success at the state level, while pro-life amendments have failed, leaving opponents to speculate that the language of the amendments confuses Americans, who clearly do not favor unlimited abortion access.

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini stated, “These ballot amendments and ballot initiatives have been an area of grave concern for the pro-life movement. All eyes are on Ohio.”

“Sadly, what we’re seeing is some of these pro-life states are moving far to the left of what [was allowed under Roe v. Wade] through these ballot initiatives, and there is a tremendous amount of confusion. The average resident in the state doesn’t understand how radical and extreme these enactments are,” she explained.

Life News reported that many of the campaign ads leading up to the election have been focused on targeting Christians to convince them to support the amendment. One such ad featured the pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Columbus reading a partial verse that says, “Do not judge and you will not be judged.” In the ad, the pastor urges Christians to vote for the amendment, claiming that “abortion is a private decision” and arguing that the government should not be involved in such decisions.

Meanwhile, a group of 100 black church officials, from both political parties, signed an open letter encouraging everyone to vote no on the issue.

“As Black faith and community leaders across Ohio who are called to care for God’s people, we urge our fellow Christians, the Black community, and all Ohioans who believe in the inherent value of every person to vote NO on Issue 1 this November. The future of our state, our society, and our race is at stake in this amendment, and we must protect them,” the letter reads.

“This is not a party line vote, nor is Issue 1 a Republican or Democrat issue. This is a moral issue and for the Black community in particular, it is a life-or-death matter,” the officials stated.

The letter explained the racist history of abortion, as eugenicist Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood, encouraged abortion as a way eliminate black children and, in her words, other “human weeds.”

The amendment only needs a simple majority to be adopted.

Pro-lifers have been defeated on these types of ballot measures numerous times in the last 18 months. And pro-aborts have celebrated their wins as if this is an indication that Americans don’t want restrictions on abortion, despite polling that shows that across the political spectrum, the majority of Americans do want abortion restricted.

The ballot results can be blamed on a number of factors: big spending by pro-abortion groups, poorly worded pro-life ballot amendments, and euphemistic language used by pro-abortion groups that tricks voters.

Voters need to understand that what these ballot measures on abortion really do is take away the power of the legislature to restrict or regulate abortion. If Issue 1 passes, the government will not be able to ban third-trimester or partial-birth abortions because doctors will be able to overrule whatever restrictions the government does impose for any reason they choose. Just like government passes laws against murder, the government should be able to enact restrictions on abortion, which likewise kills an innocent person.

It is crucial that citizens of Ohio vote “No” on Issue 1 to protect life and parental rights. Early voting begins today, and if there is any question as to whether you can make it to the polls on Election Day, Christians should go ahead and cast their vote.

James 4:17, NASB1995, states,

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

If you are an Ohio resident and you have read this, you know what the right thing to do is, so go vote “No” on Issue 1. Children are created by God and therefore human and bearing His image at every point in pregnancy. That means abortion is evil at every point in pregnancy, and as such, Christians must continue to strive, pray, and vote for the day when killing unborn children is not just illegal but unthinkable.

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