Pro-life groups warn Ohio constitutional amendment will strip away parental rights

As abortion advocates work to secure an amendment that would enshrine a “right” to abortion in the state’s constitution, the state’s pro-life groups want voters to know that should the amendment succeed, it would not only make abortion a constitutional right but also eradicate the state’s parental consent laws for abortion.

Pro-life groups say that activists are framing the constitutional amendment as a way to affirm abortion rights and repeal the state’s heartbeat law. But in affirming abortion rights, the amendment will have far-reaching, damaging consequences, including those that strip parents of their rights.

Authors Carrie Campbell Severino and Frank J. Scaturro touch on these wide-ranging consequences in a recent op-ed for National Review. “The proposed amendment would outlaw virtually any restrictions on abortion and all other procedures, including sex-change surgeries, that touch on reproduction, for both adults and minors. It would cancel out not only parental-consent laws but also mere parental notification for minors’ abortions or sex-change surgeries; strike down health protections for people of all ages who undergo these procedures, including requirements that a qualified physician perform them; and erase any meaningful limits on late-term abortions,” they write.

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These sentiments are echoed by the organization Protect Women Ohio. “Moms and dads will be cut out of the most important and life-altering decisions of their child’s life, if this passes,” warned Kelly Smith, a board member of the group. “This extreme amendment eliminates any current or future protections for minors requiring parents be notified and consent before their child undergoes a procedure like an abortion or sex change surgery.”

Protect Women Ohio has launched a $5 million ad campaign to warn voters of the real ramifications of the amendment.

“Ohioans must vote ‘no’ on this dangerous proposal,” Smith said. “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.”


Earlier this month, a lawyer for the ACLU confirmed what many of the amendment’s opponents are warning. Jessie Hill, a law professor working with the ACLU of Ohio and Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom, told Ideastream Public Media that should the amendment pass, it “would mean that laws that conflict with it cannot be enforced, should not be enforced.”

Supporters of the proposed abortion amendment have recently received clearance to begin the petition process, and they are now collecting signatures to put the constitutional amendment on the state’s November ballot. In order to succeed, they need to collect 412,591 by July 5.

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