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Issue 1 is extreme, far-reaching, and not reflective of the values and beliefs of most in Ohio

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There is a considerable amount of misinformation disseminated regarding Issue 1, the proposed Ohio amendment that would legalize abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. This proposed amendment is considered to be extreme, extending beyond the parameters of Roe v. Wade. It would effectively repeal all existing legislation pertaining to abortion in Ohio, including the prohibition on partial-birth abortion.

It is widely acknowledged by those on both sides of the Issue 1 debate that the clause “to protect the life or health of the mother” can be interpreted in a highly flexible manner, potentially justifying an abortion for a vast range of reasons throughout the entirety of pregnancy, up to and including the moment of birth. False advertisements claim that if Issue 1 fails, women who have miscarriages would be at risk of not receiving necessary emergency medical care. This assertion is demonstrably false. It is not the case that any current or proposed law would prevent the mother from receiving the essential medical care that she would need when experiencing a miscarriage.

Should Issue 1 be enacted, any existing legislation pertaining to parental consent in the context of abortion would be rendered null and void. The absence of parental consent would provide a means of avoiding prosecution for those who perpetrate sexual crimes, as abortion providers and, on occasion, young mothers are reluctant to report cases of abuse or rape to the relevant authorities. In a U.S. study on the “Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking,” more than half of the pregnant victims of sex trafficking acknowledged that they had been forced to have an abortion. It is reasonable to posit that sex traffickers in Ohio are enthusiastic supporters of Issue 1.

State law prohibits me from performing an elective knee surgery on a minor without parental consent. However, Issue 1 would permit the same patient to undergo an elective abortion without any knowledge or consent of her parents. Do we in Ohio deny that the child in the womb is a human being with legal rights to exist, from the moment of conception until the moment of birth?

We are on the verge of adopting abortion laws that are more radical than those of almost all free countries in the world. It is difficult to imagine how a free and safe society can be achieved when violence and murder become increasingly prevalent, yet we continue to dehumanize the most innocent among us, the unborn child in the womb. By sanctioning the termination of the unborn child throughout all nine months of pregnancy, we are effectively condoning the killing of the most vulnerable members of our society.

There are moral truths, including the precept that the murder of another human being (except in the narrow spectrum of self-defense) is wrong. One might inquire whether this moral truth is applied selectively, perhaps only to prevent crime and gun violence, or whether it applies more universally, to protect those with disabilities, mental illness, the elderly, or the infant in the womb. Which specific group of humans is subjected to selective exclusion? The question thus arises: who is to make this determination?

While some might argue that it is inappropriate to impose one’s religious beliefs on others, it is widely accepted that the killing of an innocent human being is morally wrong. If we as a society fail to act to protect our fellow human beings, we have completely lost our moral compass and any sense of the “common good” in our laws and our government.

It is possible to deny the reality of abortion, to dehumanize the preborn child in the womb, and to justify this through the use of terms such as “choice,” “privacy,” or “reproductive rights.” However, these terms cannot alter the fundamental truth that every abortion results in the termination of a human life.

It is important to note that Issue 1 is extreme, far-reaching, and not reflective of the values and beliefs of the majority of Ohio residents, despite how this is presented in media advertisements. A significant majority of Americans believe that abortion should be banned beyond 24 weeks of gestation, the time after which the infant is viable and able to survive outside the womb. Should Issue 1 be enacted, all existing restrictions on abortion would be lifted, and a fetus could be terminated at any stage of pregnancy for any reason, up to and including the moment of birth.

It is thus pertinent to inquire as to whether this is truly what Ohioans desire and believe to be morally justifiable. I implore you to cast your vote against Issue 1 in the upcoming November election.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Robert R. Burger is a board member of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati and a practicing orthopedic surgeon at Beacon Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. This article was originally published in the Cincinnati Enquirer.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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