COLUMBUS, Ohio (LifeSiteNews) — Ohio Republican leaders are working on a plan to stop the recently approved “reproductive freedom” amendment from being used to decimate laws against abortion.
The approved constitutional amendment, titled the “Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety Amendment,” ensures that “[e]very individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care and abortion.”
As previously reported by LifeSiteNews:
Restrictions on abortion would still be technically permissible post-“viability,” though physicians are given the authority to decide viability “on a case-by-case basis.” Moreover, abortions up to birth are protected under the amendment if deemed necessary to protect the mother’s life or heath, a standard that can be stretched to include a mother’s mental and emotional well-being in order to justify elective abortion. Pro-lifers point out that the deliberate killing of a preborn baby is never medically necessary.
While the language has been interpreted as opening the door for abortion until the moment of birth and surgical mutilation of minors, it has yet to be implemented. And Ohio Republicans want to take the hands out of judges in the state and keep it in the hands of the legislature, which is strongly controlled by the GOP.
“Issue 1 doesn’t repeal a single Ohio law, in fact, it doesn’t even mention one,” Representative Bill Dean stated in a news release. “The amendment’s language is dangerously vague and unconstrained, and can be weaponized to attack parental rights or defend rapists, pedophiles, and human traffickers.”
“No amendment can overturn the God given rights with which we were born,” Representative Beth Lear stated.
“To prevent mischief by pro-abortion courts with Issue 1, Ohio legislators will consider removing jurisdiction from the judiciary over this ambiguous ballot initiative,” the news release stated. “The Ohio legislature alone will consider what, if any, modifications to make to existing laws based on public hearings and input from legal experts on both sides.”
The Ohio House speaker also said the recent vote does not end the “conversation.”
“The legislature has multiple paths that we will explore to continue to protect innocent life. This is not the end of the conversation,” Speaker Jason Stephens, a Republican, stated.
The amendment will take effect on December 7, but the actual effects will not be immediately known.
Other possible efforts including putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot for 2024 to limit abortions at 15 weeks or passing a law that defines “viability” narrowly. However, trying to pass a 15-week or 21-week abortion prohibition would only save a small percentage of babies from abortion. According to Ohio’s health department, only .6% of abortions were committed after 21 weeks, and 8.6% were committed between 13-18 weeks.
A six-week heartbeat law is currently pending in the court system, though the Election Day vote could make it harder to uphold that law.