Down to one day. What do we know about Ohio’s pro-abortion “Issue 1”?

By Dave Andrusko

There is one thing we can know for sure. Vastly out spent, pro-lifers in Ohio are making a decision on “Issue 1” a real horserace. A few months back, pro-abortion supporters of “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety” seemed to be well ahead. With a vote just a few hours away, pro-lifers are finishing with a flourish.

Rachel del Guidice, communications director for Ohio Right to Life, offers parental involvement as one of the state’s pro-life laws that is on the ballot and why opponents feel so strongly.

Writing in the Catholic Times, she explained

If voters in Ohio pass Issue 1 on Nov. 7, abortion will be legal up to the moment of birth, a parent’s right to know if their underage child is considering an abortion or sex change operation will be eliminated and basic health and safety standards for women will be banned.

Supporters say this is nonsense. Issue 1 will not affect the state’s parental-consent law. But it clearly will and Del Guidice explains why.

The proposed state constitutional amendment purposely fails to use the word “woman” and instead uses the word “individual.” It makes no mention of adults vs. minors; it would cut parents out of some of the most defining decisions of their children’s lives and allow abusers to take a minor female to get an abortion, no questions asked. 

This morning Elle Purnell offers more examples of the “Horror Stories” that will follow if this “slyly worded amendment” passes.

Contrary to the talking points of abortion activists, out-of-state donors pouring money into the Ohio fight, and partisans in local and national media, Ohio’s Issue 1 isn’t a compromise or a common-sense proposal. It’s a radical change that would enshrine late-term abortions, abortions for young girls without their parents’ knowledge, fertility-decimating drug regimens and surgeries for confused teenagers, and more horrors into the Ohio Constitution.

Let’s finish by talking about late-term abortions. “Roughly two-thirds of Americans agree abortions of viable babies,” Purnell writes, “should be illegal and proponents of Issue 1 claim the amendment will allow the legislature to ban abortions post-viability.”

Not so. “But with a broad loophole allowing abortions up to the point of birth for any reasons concerning the mother’s ‘health’ — a term that has been interpreted by pro-abortion doctors to include the emotional or mental stress of having an unwanted child — Issue 1 will ensure viable babies continue to be killed.”

One other complicating factor which appeared last week in the New York Times. Five paragraphs in, after writing that abortion forces “have prevailed in six out of six since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year,” Kate Zernike and Lisa Lerer offer a shrew assessment I had not seen anywhere else:

But the measure in Ohio is their toughest fight yet. It is the first time that voters in a red state are being asked to affirmatively vote “yes” to a constitutional amendment establishing a right to abortion, rather than “no” to preserve the status quo established by courts. Ohio voters have historically tended to reject ballot amendments.

The headline to their story is “Why the Abortion Ballot Question in Ohio Is Confusing Voters.” But that could have written about the other six ballot questions, which explains in part why they lost.

They acknowledge that pro-lifers have “sharpen their message” but insist they have made their gains by “stok[ing] fears.”

We’ve written time after time about Issue 1. It’s very, very important. I hope that Ohioans will heed the words of pro-life Gov. Mike DeWine:

“Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, this amendment is just radical. It just goes much, much too far.”