Ohio voters on Tuesday night sent a strong message to pro-abortion President Barack Obama by approving a ballot measure intended to
keep government from requiring Ohioans to participate in any health care system.
The constitutional amendment passed is largely symbolic but it comes in response to the Obamacare law that pro-life groups opposed because of abortion funding concerns, worries about a lack of conscience protections for pro-life medical workers and fears about rationing.
With more than 1.5 million votes tallied, Ohio Issue 3 won with more than 66 percent of voters saying “Yes” to the proposal to prevent Ohioans from being forced to participate in a health care system. The official language says it is a proposal to “preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care.”
Ohio Right to Life has endorsed Issue 3 and said in response to the vote, “Ohio is a Pro-Life State. Democrats, Republicans and Independents united on election day to reject Obamacare. Issue 3 passed in all 88 counties and overall by a 30% margin! Congratulations! Our next responsibility in the great Buckeye State is to elect a pro-life president in 2012!”
Wesley J. Smith, a pro-life attorney, also responded to the vote.
“What makes this result so remarkable, is that in the same election, the voters powerfully rejected the Republican Governor’s plans to rein in public union power, and yet the rejection of Obamacare apparently received more votes than the rebuke of Governor Kasich,” he said. “If this law sticks despite its obvious and growing unpopularity, it will be a blow against government by and for the people. In this regard, I am reminded of the European Union. The ruling class does what it wants there and to heck with the people’s opinions.”
Because the mandate could require Ohio residents to purchase a health insurance plan that would pay for abortions or ration medical care, Ohio Right to Life endorsed Issue 3. The measure will exempt residents of Ohio from national health care mandates which would stop any state law from forcing persons, employers or health care providers from participating in a health care system.
The amendment reads: “The proposed amendment would provide that 1. In Ohio, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system. 2. In Ohio, no law or rule shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance. 3. In Ohio, no law or rule shall impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance.”
“The proposed amendment would not: 1. Affect laws or rules in effect as of March 19, 2010. 2. Affect which services a health care provider or hospital is required to perform or provide. 3. Affect terms and conditions of government employment. 4. Affect any laws calculated to deter fraud or punish wrongdoing in the health care industry,” it continues.
Ohio Right to Life told LifeNews the Ohio Right to Life Board of Trustees voted unanimously to endorse the effort against mandated healthcare under Obamacare.
“By voting yes on Issue 3, Ohioans will preserve their freedom to choose healthcare coverage free of abortion funding and healthcare rationing,” ORTL said. “When successful, Issue 3 will enact the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment, which provides that in Ohio no law will compel any person, employer or healthcare provider to participate in a healthcare system and that no law should prohibit the purchase or sale of healthcare insurance.”
“Recent reports indicate that Obamacare would mandate $50 million each year to be devoted to school-based health centers, which may offer contraception and abortion services. Obamacare also demands that $250,000 per state be devoted to “Personal Responsibility Education”, a program required to teach contraception,” the pro-life group added. “Passage of the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment will protect Ohioans from such requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and further defend innocent human life.”
“Ohio Right to Life supports any effort to stop Obamacare as it currently exists and views Issue 3 and the enactment of the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment as an opportunity to do just that. The organization looks forward to engaging their statewide membership and 50 affiliated chapters in a united grassroots effort across the state to vote YES on Issue 3 this November,” the group continued.
Supporters had until July 6, 2011 to collect the 385,245 signatures from registered voters that are required for an initiated constitutional amendment to obtain ballot access. Reports confirmed that health care amendment supporters filed approximately 546,000 signatures by the July 6, 2011 petition drive deadline, more than the 385,245 needed to make the ballot.
The group ProgressOhio challenged the petition signatures collected for the measure with the Ohio Supreme Court in hopes of taking the measure off of the ballot. However, on August 12, 2011, the high court ruled that the measure did indeed collect enough valid signatures, and it should stay on the ballot.