The National Association of Pro-life Nurses Opposes “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety” Amendment to the Ohio Constitution

By Nancy Valko

The National Association of Pro-Life Nurses supports Ohio Right to Life in opposing “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety” amendment to the Ohio Constitution. Here are some of our objections:

1. The amendment states that: “Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions,” the amendment says. If approved, the state couldn’t unduly “burden” this right.   According to FindLaw : “Minors in Ohio generally cannot provide consent to most medical procedures and must seek the consent of a parent or legal guardian instead. But the state also allows so-called “mature minors” to consent  to such procedures without the consent of a parent or guardian. “Mature minors” must be at least 15 years of age or older, and they must be able to show a doctor that they have enough understanding to make such decisions on their own.” It is vitally important that parents be informed about such abortion procedures before they occur, especially with teenagers who may be pressured to get rid of the baby before their parents find out. Not only can parents help their teens make a life-saving decision like adoption but also be there to help if any physical or emotional complications result from the abortion.

2. The amendment states: “Abortion may be prohibited after fetal viability,” except if a physician  believes it’s necessary “to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.” We agree with AAPLOG (American Association of Pro-life Obstetrician and Gynecologists) that: “The amendment would legalize abortion through all nine months of pregnancy by allowing post-viability abortion for broadly defined ‘health reasons, which have been long been understood legally to include any and all factors supposedly affecting health, including socioeconomic reasons. Its broad language forbidding ‘direct or indirect’ restriction on abortion places at risk such basic safeguards as protections against coerced abortion parental consent, conscience rights for pro-life clinicians, current health and safety regulations for abortion clinics, and counseling to support a woman through her pregnancy-all of which have been demonstrated to help women” and” this proposed amendment also opens the door for the legal targeting of pregnancy resource centers, which serve thousands of Ohio women with material, medical and emotional support every year.”  This makes an abortion right more extreme than what prevailed under Roe v. Wade.

3. Conscience rights for healthcare providers are at risk. In a July 31, 2023 USA Today article “‘Conscience’ bills let medical providers opt out of providing a wide range of care” cites a March 2020 article in the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics that said, “Clinicians who object to providing care on the basis of ‘conscience’ have never been more robustly protected than today. Legal remedies for patients who receive inadequate care as a result have shrunk significantly”. Many of the most sweeping bills are backed by organizations that have promoted the “conscience” agenda nationwide, such as the Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, and National Association of Pro-Life Nurses. Other groups launched a joint effort in 2020 with the explicit purpose of advancing state legislation that makes it easier for health care providers to refuse to perform a wide range of procedures, including abortion and types of gender-affirming care.” And that “Opponents such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and the Human Rights Campaign have been vocal opponents of this trend, criticizing it as a backdoor way to restrict the rights of women, LGBTQ+ community members, and other individuals.


We urge all people of good will to join us in working to protect and help vulnerable people as well as ethical healthcare providers.