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Coalition pushing extreme abortion initiative in Ohio says it isn't trying to undermine parental rights. A member group's explicit agenda suggests otherwise.
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Coalition pushing extreme abortion initiative in Ohio says it isn't trying to undermine parental rights. A member group's explicit agenda suggests otherwise.

A leftist coalition is working to roll back Ohio's few remaining abortion restrictions by way of a proposed constitutional amendment.

Some opposition groups have suggested that this craftily worded proposal will not only enable late-term abortions, but undermine parental rights on these and other matters of life and death, including the ability to protect children from sex-change mutilations.

While proponents of member groups in the coalition have claimed the amendment will not undermine parental rights, recently highlighted remarks made by a key player behind the abortion initiative have done little to inspire confidence.

What's the background?

Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights and Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom PAC are leading the charge to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution by way of an initiated constitutional amendment called the "Ohio Right to Make Reproductive Decisions Including Abortion Initiative."

The proposal to put this abortion initiative on the November 2023 ballot was certified in March by the state attorney general.

Ballotpedia noted that this measure would add Article 1, Section 22 of the Ohio Constitution, stating, "Every individual has a right to make and carry out one's own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on: 1. contraception; 2. fertility treatment; 3. continuing one's own pregnancy; 4. miscarriage care; and 5. abortion."

The proposed amendment further states that the "state shall not, directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against either: 1. An individual's voluntary exercise of this right or 2. 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."

The only ostensible restriction on abortion admitted in the amendment leaves determinations as to whether a viable human being can be exterminated up to abortionists.

"Abortion may be prohibited after fetal viability," says the proposed amendment. "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."

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, and civil liberties lawyer Jordan Sekulow, said in a Newsweek opinion piece, "If passed by Ohio voters, the amendment would not only prevent any new protections for the unborn in the state, but it would endanger women's health and abolish parental consent and notification laws."

Parental rights in the crosshairs

Parental rights are implicated and eroded under the amendment, argued the pro-life activists, because "'reproductive decisions' is a very broad term, and is intentionally included to stop any effort to put reasonable restrictions or enforce parental rights on a wide array of other destructive decisions—potentially including sex change surgeries."

Carrie Severino and Frank Scaturro of the Judicial Crisis Network concurred, noting in National Review that "'reproductive decisions' ... is a very broad term. By explicitly defining such decisions as 'not limited to' the enumerated categories, the proposal establishes its scope as sweeping. A natural reading would extend to any medical procedure that involves the human reproductive system, including sex-change surgery."

Extra to potentially affecting parents' ability to protect their children from sex-change mutilations and devastating puberty blockers, Dannenfelser and Sekulow highlighted how "if Ohio adopts the amendment, the state's supreme court can be expected to go even farther than the U.S. Supreme Court ever did in undoing the state's parental consent laws," in part by "outlawing any legal requirement for a parent to be notified about or consent before an abortion—or any other procedure related to 'reproduction decisions'—is performed on their child."

Molly Smith, board member for Protect Women Ohio, said that should the proposed amendment pass, "Moms and dads will be cut out of the most important and life-altering decisions of their child's life."

Jessie Hill, an attorney for the amendment-supportive ACLU of Ohio, confirmed that upon the passage of constitutional amendment, "laws that conflict with it cannot be enforced, should not be enforced," reported Statehouse News.

Accordingly, the existing law requiring female minors to get parental consent or a court order prior to getting an abortion would be abrogated.

Leftist denial

Pro-abortion and LGBT activists maintain that the opposition campaign is dealing in falsehoods and that this amendment will not serve as a Trojan horse for child sex-change protections or altogether undermine parental rights, reported WCPO.
Jonathan Entin, a former clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, said, "The opponents are saying, 'Well, but there's this language that says "including but not limited to,"' ... but that's bogus."
Entin added, "The claim that this is some kind of mechanism for sneaking transgender rights into the Ohio Constitution is just wrong."
Jeff Rusnak, a political strategist with the amendment campaign, told Cleveland.com that those opposed to the amendment are, out of desperation, advancing a "disinformation campaign."
"The anti-abortion opposition is desperate and intentionally distorting what is clearly written, in order to completely misrepresent the intent and impact of our amendment," said Celina Coming, a spokeswoman for Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom. "Ohioans know the truth and won’t be fooled by the outright lies of the advertisements."
Here is one of the PWO advertisements that has drawn the ire of the pro-abortion activists:

Abortion coalition member's not-so-hidden agenda

One of the groups that formed the pro-abortion coalition Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom, now leading the charge on the initiative, is Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity.

Despite the protestation by the proponents of the amendment, URGE is expressly keen on undermining parental rights and has publicly crystallized its position in recent years, such as when it tweeted:

  • "We need policies that get rid of parental involvement laws so that young people can access abortion without unnecessary restrictions," on July 29, 2019;
  • "Your daily reminder that parental involvement laws are unethical and must be abolished. Every pregnant person deserves full autonomy over their body and pregnancy, regardless of their age or family situation," on July 17, 2020;
  • "Happy International Cat Day! ... Parental involvement laws block this & violate our humanity. End parental involvement laws MEOW," on Aug. 8, 2021;
  • "It's time to END parental involvement laws. We're ALL worthy of self-determination," on April 28, 2022.

The anti-parent group has also championed sex-change mutilations and dysphoria-affirming treatments on minors and advocated for keeping parents in the dark about their children's gender dysphoria.

According to PWO, URGE has "received millions in funding from left-wing dark money groups, including the New Venture Fund, the Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Planned Parenthood, the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and the Hewlett Foundation."

Concerning the abortion initiative at its outset, URGE executive director Kimberly Inez McGuire stated, "Young people in Ohio deserve all the fruits of reproductive justice."

URGE previously made clear that "#ReproductiveJustice isn't just about abortion."

Understanding the Anti-Parent Amendmentyoutu.be

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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