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Ohio Pro-Life Advocates Rally to Defend Preborn Children's Rights

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As early voting unfolds in Ohio's battle over Issue 1, the pro-life community is mounting a robust campaign to protect the rights of the unborn. Hundreds of volunteers and dedicated workers are actively engaged in door-knocking, phone-banking, and advertising efforts to reach voters.

Photo credit: Maria Oswalt

Photo credit: Maria Oswalt

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
10/20/2023 (9 months ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Ohio, pro-life movement, early voting, abortion amendment, Protect Women Ohio, door-knocking, phone-banking, pro-life organizations

Amy Natoce, the press secretary for the pro-life coalition Protect Women Ohio, described their efforts as nothing short of a full-scale presidential-level campaign. Early voting commenced on October 11 for Issue 1, an initiative seeking to amend the state constitution to encompass a right to "reproductive freedom," including abortion.

While Election Day is set for Tuesday, November 7, the significance of early voting cannot be understated. Bryan Kemper, the coordinator of street activism for Priests for Life, emphasized the importance of early voting in shaping the outcome.

To counter the proposed abortion amendment, more than 50 pro-life organizations united under the banner of "Protect Women Ohio" to coordinate their activities. Paid door-to-door canvassing is predominantly led by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America (SBA), and volunteer door-knocking and phone-banking are organized by Created Equal.

Michelle Ashley, Ohio State Director at SBA, revealed that their canvassers have already reached 375,000 voters across 50 counties in the past few months. They expect to reach half a million voters by Election Day. SBA anticipates that this week alone, their canvassers will engage with 50,000 voters, with nearly 200 canvassers, including about 60 college students, participating in these efforts.

Created Equal President Mark Harrington reported that more than 400 volunteers are actively involved in door-knocking and that their goal is to reach approximately 100,000 voters.

Kemper, who is touring Ohio to train activists in door-knocking and phone-banking strategies, emphasized the need to counteract falsehoods he believes have been perpetuated by misleading advertising. Their focus is on clarifying misconceptions and providing truthful information.

Kemper pointed out that some of the false claims include allegations that pro-life laws would hinder miscarriage care or essential health care for ectopic pregnancies. Additionally, many voters are unaware that Issue 1 would enshrine abortion as a right in the state constitution, eliminating all pro-life laws and parental consent requirements for abortion. After canvassers explain these facts, approximately 80% of voters express their intention to vote against the amendment.

Ashley emphasized the importance of conversations to clarify misconceptions and misinformation spread through misleading ads. Similarly, Harrington noted that when voters learn that the proposed amendment would legalize abortion up until birth and eliminate parental consent, the majority express their opposition.

Peter Range, the CEO of Ohio Right to Life, attested that pro-life activists are making a profound impact by reaching out to Ohioans. Despite being outspent by millions in advertising by out-of-state groups, the pro-life grassroots effort remains committed to the belief that parents should have a say in their children's lives and that the preborn deserve protection, even in the seventh month of development when they can survive outside the womb.

While polling data has consistently indicated support for the amendment among Ohio voters, pro-life advocates remain optimistic, asserting that the polls do not fully consider the extreme nature of Issue 1. They believe there is still a path to victory in November, driven by their ground game and a commitment to protect the unborn. A new advertisement is in the works, and pro-life advocates are determined to fight for their cause.

In the face of challenging odds, they remain resolute in their efforts to secure the rights of the unborn in Ohio.

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