NRL News

Four days and counting until November 7. What do we know about Ohio’s pro-abortion “Issue 1”?

by | Nov 3, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Let’s begin with the legacy media which is in a frenzy as we approach November 7. Supposedly opponents of Ohio’s “Issue 1” are guilty of (take your pick) “Anti-abortion misinformation” and “Mistruths and outright lies.”; Pro-life Gov. Mike DeWine’s contribution is to “join in the deceitfulness of opponents. He fans their misleading claims.”

And those are the less inflammatory accusations!

So, at best, critics of  “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety” Act are making “misleading claims.” But this is a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black.

Issue 1 explicitly ”prohibit restrictions on abortion before fetal viability.” For that part of the public which is not following the debate closely the conclusion they are supposed to reach is that there will be no post-viability abortions except to save the mother’s life.

Not so, not so at all. Sarah Szilagy in her “Issue 1: What you need to know about the abortion amendment before you vote” story tells us “restrictions on abortion after viability would be permitted, but restrictions wouldn’t apply in cases where the life or health of the pregnant person is at risk.” [emphasis added].

This was the exception in Roe/Doe that swallowed the wholly misleading rule. Roe said you could, in theory, put limitations after viability. But in its definition of “health,” Doe carved out an exception big enough to drive a Mack truck through.

Justice Blackmun wrote in Doe that the abortionist’s “medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.”

That’s the gaping hole in Issue 1. It means abortion on demand throughout pregnancy.

The one thing you cannot ignore is the flood of outside money pouring into Ohio. “Abortion rights supporters are swimming in out-of-state money, too, with millions pouring in from billionaires and groups that are associated with them)”

The “too” is to leave the impression that there is some semblance of parity between supporters of Issue I and opponents. In truth, opponents are vastly outspent. The pro-abortion billionaire governor of Illinois is a classic example of what a single individual can do.

Mark Moran tells us in mid-October “Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday launched a national nonprofit group to promote ballot measures that would codify abortion rights and fend off what he said is ‘extremism’ in America.

Think Big America is a spin-off of the ‘Think Big’ campaign theme from Pritzker’s first run for Illinois governor in 2018 and will operate as a 501(c)(4) issue-advocacy organization.”

Pritzker is contributing to a flock of individual candidates in Ohio. In addition, “Think Big America contributed $250,000 to Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, a ballot committee made up of a coalition of reproductive rights advocates.”

Think Big America is busy sowing death in Virginia as well. “Think Big America’s contribution of $25,000 each to four state Senate Democratic candidates in Virginia, and an additional $150,000 to the state Democratic party,” according to Moran.

Pro-lifers in Ohio have run some very powerful ads. Many of them talk directly to parents about how Issue 1 will affect the state’s parental-consent law.

Naturally, supporters deny this. They tell us there is nothing that directly targets parental rights. But, as we wrote about yesterday, quoting Prof. Michael New,

[O]n numerous occasions, state courts have struck down parental-involvement laws. This has happened even in states where abortion was not explicitly protected by the state constitution. This shows that the concerns of Ohio pro-lifers are well founded.

The last four days will be very closely watched for signs of movement in the polls. We know we have cut into the advantage enjoyed by proponents.

We’ll talk about Ohio and Virginia more on Monday.

Categories: State Legislation