(CNSNews.com) – A ballot initiative to amend Ohio’s state constitution to allow abortion on demand passed its first major hurdle on March 2 when Attorney General Dave Yost certified the language of the initiative.
The national pro-life organization SBA Pro-Life America denounced the proposal, noting it would remove parental consent laws and health regulations.
“Regardless of what your views are on abortion, everyone should be concerned about this radical ballot measure that eliminates basic health care regulations and contains no protections for women’s safety,” said the SBA’s State Affairs Director Sue Liebel.
“It’s extremely concerning that it would take Ohio’s law on parental consent off the books and it would forbid mothers and fathers from being able to have a say or any knowledge if their daughter seeks an abortion,” she added.
The proposed ballot initiative is entitled, “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety.” If enacted by the voters of Ohio, the proposal would amend the state constitution to say the following:
A. Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on:
2. fertility treatment;
3. continuing one’s own pregnancy;
4. miscarriage care; and
B. The State shall not, directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against either:
1. An individual’s voluntary exercise of this right or
2. A person or entity that assists an individual exercising this right,
unless the State demonstrates that it is using the least restrictive means to
advance the individual’s health in accordance with widely accepted and
evidence-based standards of care.
The ballot initiative further explains that “fetal viability” means “the point in a pregnancy when, in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician, the fetus has a significant likelihood of survival outside the uterus with reasonable measures. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.”
In his March 2 letter certifying the language of the proposal, Attorney General Dave Yost, a pro-life Republican, stated that his job was to determine whether the document is a “fair and truthful statement of the proposed constitutional amendment.”
It is not his job to decide whether the proposal is foolish or wise but to leave its argument “to the electorate, not to me,” he said.
“My personal views on abortion are publicly known,” wrote Yost. “In this matter, I am constrained by duty to rule upon a narrow question, not to use the authority of my office to effect a good policy, or to impede a bad one. … I conclude that the summary is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment. I am therefore submitting the following certification to the Ohio Secretary of State.”
The proposed amendment now goes to the Ohio Ballot Board, which will “determine whether it contains a single constitutional amendment or more than one,” wrote Yost.
If the Ballot Board approves the amendment, the group proposing it – Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom – must collect more than 400,000 signatures by July 5 to get the measure on the ballot, reported NBC 4 in Ohio.
SBA Pro-Life America further warned, “Late-term abortion up until the moment of birth would be allowed with the change to the constitution – allowing for abortions well past the 15-week timeframe when an unborn child can feel pain.”