Ohio is considering a sweeping amendment to the state constitution that would not only enshrine abortion protections in the state constitution but also support transgender surgeries for minors.
The Ohio Ballot Board approved the proposal last month, and it just needs to collect enough signatures to appear on the ballot in November.
Misleadingly titled “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety,” the proposed amendment provides that “every 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” (emphasis added, to reveal its breadth goes beyond just women making fertility decisions).
This means that the amendment to enshrine abortion protections in the state constitution, which is already bad enough, intentionally leaves itself open to further applications. First, it would permit minors to have abortions without parental notification or consent. Second, it could allow healthy biological females to have hysterectomies or other forms of transgender surgery, even if they’re minors lacking parental consent.
“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,” writes Judicial Network’s Carrie Campbell Severino and Frank J. Scaturro in National Review. “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.”
Charlotte Lozier Institute associate scholar and Catholic University of America research associate Michael J. New further argues that “this constitutional amendment would likely require Ohio’s Medicaid program to pay for elective abortions.”
Further, the amendment could also shield deadbeat boyfriends and others who would pressure women into having an abortion. Columnist Kathleen Parker notes at the Washington Post, “the Ohio amendment allows too much while doing too little to protect women and children from predators and abortion bullies.” She continues, “We should understand that not everyone who seeks an abortion is a free agent girded with knowledge, wisdom and experience. Some are victims of what I call ‘the abortion assumption,’ the common belief that abortion is the best option for women with an unplanned pregnancy or for girls deemed too young to carry a pregnancy to term.”
The amendment specifies that abortion “may be prohibited after fetal viability,” which is usually around 24 weeks, or near the end of the second trimester. Ohio currently bans abortion at about 22 weeks, and it has an as-yet-unenforceable six-week ban on the books.
If this amendment were passed, the state would have license to greatly expand abortion access, as well as expand access to irreversible surgeries for minors, while parents stay in the dark. Whether or not it is intended, amendments like these would only further social breakdown, as they continue to increase division between parent and child—in more ways than one. For pro-lifers, our work is cut out for us to spread awareness so that, if state voters get to decide on such amendments in November, they are fully informed as they make their votes.