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Ohio Supreme Court hands pro-abortion forces a big victory in Ohio

by | Jun 2, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

On Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled against pro-lifers, holding that “Issue 1” can move forward as a single initiative this fall. 

“The Court’s 7-0 ruling upholds the Ohio Ballot Board’s unanimous decision that the proposed amendment can move forward as a single initiative,” Avery Kreemer and Samantha Wildow reported. “The initiative would guarantee Ohioans’ right to abortion and protect their individualized decisions on fertility treatment, contraception, miscarriage care and continuing their own pregnancy.”

“It’s disappointing that the court did not believe it was two issues; however, we knew that we had a tall order to overcome with this case,” said Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis. “The court ruling does not change our tactics and strategies, and we know we will be successful in November.”

Gonidakis added, “Make no mistakes, we’re going to win in August on Aug. 8 and we’re going to protect the Ohio Constitution from outside special interests. Today’s ruling doesn’t impact that in any way, shape or form. We are very confident in our approach and our tactics to get a majority vote from Ohioans who want to see our constitution safeguarded from out of state groups.”

Maeve Walsh wrote that Margaret DeBlase and John Giroux, both members of the Cincinnati Right to Life, argued

the initiative’s language — authored by Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom — contains multiple amendments to the state constitution as opposed to a single issue required by law. Thus, the plaintiffs said the ballot board abused its discretion by greenlighting the initiative, whose provisions include protections for contraception, fertility treatment and health care that falls outside the scope of abortion.

The state Supreme Court has decided in previous decisions “that individual provisions of a proposed amendment do not need to relate to one another, but they do need to relate to a singular purpose,” Kreemer and Wildow  explained. In this instance, the decision reads, ”the proposed amendment meets that standard because each provision relates to the single general purpose of protecting a person’s reproductive rights.”

A coalition of pro-life organizations has argued from the beginning that Issue I is radically pro-abortion, extending the “right” to end an unborn baby’s life up to birth. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, it seems, agrees. In a May 31 tweet, Planned Parenthood said’

When it comes to your abortion, any reason is the right reason. Telling your abortion story is important, and the more we talk about this essential form of health care, the more normalized it becomes.

The ACLU of Ohio tweeted on May 24 that

A ban is a ban, whether it prohibits abortion after 6, 12 or 15 weeks. Any ban that takes away a person’s ability to make their own medical decisions is unacceptable., which is why we must enshrine reproductive freedom in the Ohio Constitution in November.

Ohio Right to Life #EndAbortionOhio tweeted

Once again, @acluohio says the quiet part out loud. Not only are they fighting to end parental rights, they’re opposed to any protection for the unborn at any time in a pregnancy. That’s why they’re fighting to enshrine painful, late-term abortion into the Ohio constitution.

To place the measure on the November ballot, Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom has until July 5 to collect more than 400,000 signatures.

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