Ohio Amendment Could Stop Measure to Make Killing Babies a Constitutional Right

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 22, 2023   |   5:20PM   |   Columbus, Ohio

Ohio lawmakers debated legislation Wednesday about increasing the requirements to pass a state constitutional amendment, a measure that could prevent abortion activists from creating a “right” to abort unborn babies in the state.

Cleveland.com reports House Joint Resolution 1, sponsored by state Rep. Brian Stewart, R-Ashville, would require a ballot measure to pass with 60 percent of voters’ approval in order to change the Ohio Constitution, up from the current 50 percent plus one.

If Stewart’s resolution passes and voters approve it on the August ballot, the change could thwart abortion activists’ efforts to pass a pro-abortion state constitutional amendment in November.

Republicans lead the state legislature, and state Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said he would like to see the resolution on the August ballot, according to the report.

One of the reasons Stewart gave for introducing the legislation late last year was because he wants to make sure unborn babies will be protected from abortion in Ohio.

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The report continues:

Stewart sent an email to his GOP colleagues in Dec. 14, when a similar bill before the General Assembly was about to die, telling them that Ohio Right to Life and the Center for Christian Virtue were among the organizations backing his bill.

“After decades of Republicans’ work to make Ohio a pro-life state, the Left intends to write abortion on demand into Ohio’s Constitution,” Stewart wrote. “If they succeed all the work accomplished by multiple Republican majorities will be undone, and we will return to the 19,000+ babies being aborted each year.”

In addition to the new 60-percent threshold, the bill also would require signatures from all 88 counties on citizen-based initiatives to enact state constitutional amendments.

The amendment that abortion activists are proposing would basically nullify state laws that protect unborn babies and mothers from abortion and allow abortions for almost any reason up to birth in Ohio.

Earlier this week, Protect Women Ohio, a coalition formed to fight against the amendment, launched an ad warning the public about the implications of the amendment on parents’ rights.

Molly Smith, a board member of Protect Women Ohio, urged voters to reject the amendment because parents will be “cut out of the most important and life-altering decisions of their child’s life.” She said parents may not be notified if their daughter has an abortion – or is forced into one by an abuser.

“Ohioans must vote ‘no’ on this dangerous proposal,” she told Townhall. “The ACLU and the abortion industry have a long history of working to abolish parental rights and they are now bringing this anti-parent campaign to our state, hoping to enshrine their hostile political agenda in our state constitution.”

For now, aborting unborn babies is legal in Ohio.

The state heartbeat law bans abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy, and was in effect for a little while last year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. However, pro-abortion groups sued, and a state judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the law. State Attorney General Dave Yost is appealing.

The pro-life law has the potential to save tens of thousands of babies’ lives. From June to August while the law was in effect, abortions dropped 65 percent in Ohio, representing about 2,470 unborn babies’ lives, according to the new study, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.