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PolitiFact Cries Pro-Lifers Are ‘False’ on Ohio’s Pro-Abort Referendum

by | Nov 6, 2023

By Tim Graham

On Friday, we noted was trying to throw the “False” flag at pro-lifers in Ohio over the state’s Issue One referendum. On Friday, PolitiFact also ruled pro-lifers were “False” with a similar strategy. Opponents of abortion aren’t allowed to speculate about what the abortion-rights language would allow. PolitiFact’s Grace Abels — who’s usually defending the LGBTQ leftists — chose a different set of “progressives” to defend: 

“Legal experts say Issue 1 allows for abortion after viability for mental, emotional and even financial reasons, not just to protect the life of the mother,” said a woman featured in the [Facebook] ad from Protect Women Ohio, a coalition of anti-abortion groups that oppose the amendment. “I’m pro-choice, but Issue 1 goes too far.”

We found the ad’s claim about an exception for finances goes too far. The proposed amendment says nothing about financial considerations being used to justify abortions later in pregnancy — what anti-abortion groups often call “late-term” abortions.

It’s always amusing to see leftists finding it weird you would describe a late-term abortion as a “late term abortion.” What’s it supposed to be called, “a well-considered choice”? 

Abels and her team don’t find it convincing that you can read between the lines, that an abortion provider would say the financial stress of a baby might be defined as affecting a woman’s mental health. On the flip side, abortion doctors have a financial incentive to find a health exception so they can be paid for “abortion care.” Here’s most of the text of the referendum:

A. Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on: contraception; fertility treatment; continuing one’s own pregnancy; miscarriage care; and abortion. 

B. The State shall not, directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against either: An individual’s voluntary exercise of this right or; 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. 

However, abortion may be prohibited after fetal viability. But in no case may such an abortion be prohibited if in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician it is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health. 

That’s a pretty expansive view of a largely unlimited right to abortion, with the proviso that doctors (often in abortion clinics) will offer “professional judgment” of their “pregnant patients.” The “experts” in this case are just as biased as PolitiFact’s chosen experts. We couldn’t find any PolitiFact checks on the pro-abortion side’s ads in Ohio. They don’t need to be suppressed on social media sites with warnings about bad information.

Abels concluded alongside their chosen Experts, that pro-lifers were wrong: 

“Health” has been subject to more broad interpretations by the court than just physical health, but PolitiFact found no evidence that finances have been included in that broader understanding and experts said they find no clear precedent for that.

We rate this claim False. 

For a demonstration of the usual pattern of “fact checkers,” check out Cincinnati NBC affiliate WLWT-5. They offered fact checks of two pro-life ads and two pro-abortion ads. The conservatives were mostly false twice, and the liberals were mostly true twice.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.

Categories: State Legislation