Pro-life organizations are alarmed by Ohio pro-choice groups’ “extreme” proposal to expand abortions across the state, claiming it would “endanger women and children
Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom and Ohio United for Reproductive Rights (OPRR) submitted paperwork to Republican Attorney General Dave Yost Wednesday to request a pro-choice initiative be included on the ballot in November 2023.
The pro-choice groups are seeking to amend the state’s Constitution to expand access to abortion in the state through a right to abortion. Though the proposed language states that abortion restrictions may be placed after the age of viability, pro-life groups see other issues with the measure.
“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,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, SBA Pro-Life America’s president, said in a press release.
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Dr. Lauren Beene, executive director of OPRR, described the request as a “commonsense amendment” that would allow individuals abortions “free from government interference,” but Dannenfelser argued the proposal is unsafe.
SBA sounded the alarm on the dangers that could result from the initiative, in some cases allowing abortions after the fetus is viable, meaning after the baby could survive outside the womb.
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“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,” Dannenfelser said. “This extreme proposal must be rejected.”
Ohio Right to Life said the proposed language is “extremely vague, making it even more dangerous than we originally believed it would be.”
“Make no mistake, the abortion lobby is attempting to impose on Ohioans late-term abortion, paid for by taxpayers,” said Elizabeth Marbach, communications director for Ohio Right to Life. “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.”
After the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June, Ohio banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, but the ban was reversed by a judge who reinstated laws permitting abortion up to 5½ months into pregnancy, or about 22 weeks.
If the state approves the language, the initiative would need 400,000 signatures to be on the ballot in the fall.
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