The Ohio state House has passed a measure to protect its state constitution that could stop abortion activists who are bent on making the state constitution endorse abortions up to birth.
The state House passed legislation to increase 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.
Senate Joint Resolution 2 would require a ballot measure to pass with 60 percent of voters’ approval to change the Ohio Constitution, up from the current 50 percent plus one. The bill also would require signatures from all 88 counties on citizen-based initiatives to enact amendments.
If the legislature approves the bill and voters approve it on the August ballot, the change could thwart abortion activists’ efforts to pass a pro-abortion amendment in November.
The House signed off on passage 62-37.
Ohio Right to Life’s President, Michael Gonidakis, told LifeNews.com he was elated by the vote.
“Today is a great day for democracy. Ohioans are grateful that the Ohio House and Ohio Senate trust “we the people” by creating an election for all of us to self-determine what Ohio’s future may look like. Speaker Jason Stephens and House Republicans made the clear statement today that they unequivocally trust Ohio’s voters. Because of their leadership, the future of our state’s constitution now rests completely in the hands of the people—not the political class—to debate amongst ourselves and come to a consensus,” Gonidakis said.
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“Ohio Right to Life specifically would like to thank State Representative Brian Stewart for leading the effort to protect Ohio’s constitution and his consistent involvement, ensuring the success of this measure. Additionally, we are thankful to State Senators Theresa Gaverone and Rob McColley for introducing and sponsoring both SJR2 and Senate Bill 92,” he added.
Center for Christian Virtue President Aaron Baer applauded the vote.
“For too long, Ohio’s Constitution has been up for sale to the highest bidder. From casinos to the drug-legalization pushers to abortionists, special interests with deep pockets put a target on our Constitution because they only needed a simple majority to amend our state’s founding document,” he said. “It’s now time for the voters of Ohio to stand up to support this ballot initiative and protect our Constitution for generations to come.”
Prior to the vote, pro-abortion activists and union leaders demanded that lawmakers reject the legislation, saying it would become much too difficult to pass constitutional amendments under the new restrictions.
The seperate amendment that abortion activists are proposing would end state laws that protect unborn babies and mothers from abortion and allow abortions for basically any reason up to birth.
Protect Women Ohio, a new pro-life coalition formed to fight against the amendment, has launched a series of ads warning the public that parents also could be stripped of their basic rights.
“Ohioans must vote ‘no’ on this dangerous proposal,” Molly Smith, a board member of Protect Women Ohio, 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.
If enforced, the pro-life law has the potential to save tens of thousands of babies’ lives.