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Dangerous 'Right to Reproductive Freedom' Measure Heads to Ohio's November Ballot

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A dangerous pro-abortion measure has been designated as Issue 1 on Ohio's November ballot, triggering a heated debate between supporters and critics. While the proposal aims to establish a "Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety," Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati has strongly warned of dire consequences if the measure becomes law.

Photo credit: ulleo

Photo credit: ulleo


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/25/2023 (9 months ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Ohio, abortion, ballot, measure, law, vote, November, pro-life

The Ohio Ballot Board, led by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, ratified the ballot language on Thursday. The initiative secured its place on the ballot after garnering over 700,000 signatures, of which 496,000 were deemed valid, as reported by The Hill.

Titled 'The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety,' the measure has the objective of defending abortion with the force of law. Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati expressed his concerns, highlighting that the proposed amendment could have far-reaching repercussions. He emphasized that the amendment might lead to the eradication of safety regulations governing abortion clinics, erode parental consent rights for minors seeking reproductive decisions, and even enable abortions up to nine months into pregnancy.

Archbishop Schnurr stated, "Policies such as these have no place in the constitution of our state. I urge Catholics and all people of goodwill to oppose this very harmful amendment."

The proposed alteration to the Ohio Constitution's Bill of Rights would introduce a new section asserting the right to "reproductive freedom." If ratified by voters this November, the constitution would assert that "every individual has a right to make and carry out one's own reproductive decisions." These decisions would encompass a range of matters including abortion, contraception, fertility treatments, miscarriage care, and the choice to continue a pregnancy.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio strongly voiced its opposition to Issue 1, expressing concerns about the potential risks it poses. The Conference emphasized the perceived dangers to women's health and safety, potential infringements on parental rights, and the allowance of abortion throughout all stages of pregnancy.

"The Catholic Church has always advocated for and acted to protect the most vulnerable in society, including the indigent, migrants, and preborn children in the womb," the Catholic Conference stated. "We will continue to do so by explaining the harms Issue 1 poses to women, parents, and babies with Catholics and all people of goodwill across Ohio and encourage a no vote on this egregious proposal."

The Republican-led ballot board's decision to use the term "unborn child" in the summary language and minimize abortion limitations stirred controversy. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the Democrats protested, arguing that the language was prejudiced and inaccurate.

Should the ballot measure secure approval, it would restrict lawmakers from imposing abortion regulations except "after fetal viability," a point usually considered to be around 22-24 weeks of pregnancy. No restrictions would be permissible when a physician deems an abortion "necessary to protect the pregnant patient's life or health."

The proposed amendment also includes provisions to prohibit government interference with an individual's exercise of this right and allows for specific regulations to ensure health and safety, while adhering to widely accepted standards of care.

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