HomeoldOhio’s Issue 1: “This is exactly what unrestricted, unregulated abortion looks like.”

Ohio’s Issue 1: “This is exactly what unrestricted, unregulated abortion looks like.”

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In approximately one week’s time, on the 7th of November, the electorate of Ohio will be called upon to express their opinion on the proposed constitutional amendment, commonly referred to as “Issue 1”. This initiative has been initiated by a group of concerned citizens and has been endorsed by a significant number of pro-life advocates and non-partisan individuals alike. The proposed amendment would, if passed, embed the issue of abortion within the state constitution. On a daily basis, critics of Issue 1 publish opinion pieces that offer evidence that Issue 1 is “the most dangerous initiative Ohio has ever faced.

One might consider Karl von Valtier, whose op-ed appeared in the Columbus Dispatch, as an illustrative example. The article is subtitled “You needn’t hold ardent pro-life views – from even a moderate pro-choice perspective – to see this constitutional amendment is a radical proposal that is wrong for Ohio.”

This is the veracity that pro-abortionists will do whatever it takes to suppress. Let us consider the argument put forth by Mr. Von Valtier, which appeared in yesterday’s edition. He commences his argument as follows:

In a recent debate on State Issue 1, the proponent made the desired endgame of the pro-abortion camp very clear – they want the government to relinquish all authority to regulate abortion, leaving all decisions about whether, when, or how to perform an abortion between the mother and the abortionist.

There is no doubt about their sincerity – if this amendment becomes part of Ohio’s constitution, it will do just that.

The first issue of the series is designed to eliminate any constraints, including those that protect women.

The crux of the matter can be found in the third and fourth paragraphs.

The prevailing controversy and confusion about what the amendment will actually do is primarily driven not by what is written in the ballot language, but by what isn’t.

The vague legalese is strategically written to be open-ended, with most of the key provisions prescribed by terminology that is ambiguous and explicitly undefined.

When proposals are written in legalese, which is often open-ended, it is unclear who is responsible for filling in the blanks.

[B]ecause most of the substance of the amendment is based on undefined terms, these definitions will necessarily be interpreted by the courts – using decades of legal precedent favourable to the removal of restrictions and ‘burdens’ on abortion.

The Reproductive Freedom Amendment is replete with examples of this vagueness.

It begins with the reproductive decisions of “each individual”, “including but not limited to…”, and goes on to use phrases such as “indirect burden”, “person or entity assisting an individual”, “least restrictive means”, “widely accepted”, “evidence-based” and, perhaps most importantly, the patient’s “health”.

In addition, Von Valtier elucidates the implications of this phenomenon.

The Reproductive Freedom Amendment is built entirely on opaque terms like these – and not one of them is defined in the text of the amendment.

Did you note that point? It is evident that none of the aforementioned provisions are defined within the amendment text.

What protections would be negated if Issue 1 were to be enacted?

Current Ohio law includes: bans on late-term or partial-birth abortions; safety standards that require the abortion provider to be a physician and the abortion facility to have a transfer agreement with a hospital (in case of an emergency); required parental notification and consent for abortions on minors; and more – all of which are likely to be eliminated if the amendment passes.

This is an excellent and well-reasoned argument against Issue 1, which I hope you will read in its entirety. I would like to conclude by citing one more of Mr. von Valtier’s insightful observations.

In response to claims that this will override parental rights, the only response from supporters is that it ‘says nothing about parental rights’ and that the whole point is to ‘take politicians out of the decision’.

The fact that the amendment is silent on the issue of parental rights is precisely the problem.

Previous court rulings have identified parental notification laws as a ‘burden’ on abortion, and the explicit restrictions on state interference in this amendment guarantee that any challenge to the abrogation of parental rights will be struck down in the inevitable court cases to come.

He then proceeds to quote from the original proposal document and subsequently draws his own conclusions.

This not only removes the above restrictions and safety standards, but is designed to explicitly protect abortion from government interference. This is what unrestricted, unregulated abortion looks like. This is how the removal of parental rights and legalised abortion up to the moment of birth will be achieved.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

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