BREAKING NEWS: Ohio’s Proposed “Reproductive Freedom” Amendment Faces Legal Challenge
Breaking: From Cincinnati Right to Life Press Release
March 20, 2023
Today a lawsuit was filed at the Ohio Supreme Court against the Abortion Ballot Initiative that was approved by Attorney General Dave Yost, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, and the Ohio Ballot Board.
This type of lawsuit is called a “Mandamus”. A Mandamus action is a lawsuit that is brought against the Government, not for money, but to make the Government do something that it is required, by law, to do.
Here is a brief summary of what this means and why this legal action is necessary:
Ohio has specific guidelines and laws that govern the process when a citizens’ group decides they want to place an initiative on the ballot. According to Ohio Revised Code 3519.01 (A) Only one proposal of law or constitutional amendment to be proposed by initiative petition shall be contained in an initiative petition to enable the voters to vote on that proposal separately. A petition shall include the text of any existing statute or constitutional provision that would be amended or repealed if the proposed law or constitutional amendment is adopted.
The wording is first presented to the Attorney General through a preliminary initiative petition containing 1,000 signatures in support of the proposed constitutional amendment and a summary of its provision. At this stage the Attorney General simply determines whether the summary is a “fair and truthful statement” of the proposal. On March 2, 2023, Attorney General Yost made this certification. The next step in the process was consideration of the proposal by the Ohio Ballot Board.
On March 13, 2023, a hearing was held by the Ohio Ballot Board in Columbus, Ohio. The legal duty of the Secretary of State and Ohio Ballot Board was to determine whether the proposed amendment contained only one proposed amendment. Unfortunately, there was no discussion or debate whatsoever at this meeting about whether or not the proposed amendment under Ohio law contained more than one amendment.
Therefore, today’s filing asks the Ohio Supreme Court to review the decision the Ohio Ballot Board issued and contends that the Ohio Ballot Board abused their discretion and disregarded the law in its failure to recognized that that there is more than one proposed amendment contained within “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety”.
Today’s filing relies upon case law from Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey which even recognized that abortion is “inherently different” and a “unique act” and, thus, the proposed ballot initiative does, in fact, contain more than one proposed amendment. The filling asks the Ohio Supreme Court to compel the Ohio Ballot Board to:
- Vacate their decision and determination of March 13, 2023 which cleared the final legal hurdle for “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety” to move forward as only one proposed constitutional amendment. This has allowed them to begin gathering the needed 413,000 signatures from across Ohio which is required to get this radical right to abortion on the general election ballot in November 2023.
- Issue a determination that the petition named “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety” does, in fact, contain more than one proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution
- Divide the abortion petition into individual petitions, each containing only one proposed constitutional amendment (as mandated by Ohio law which provides the guidelines under which the Ohio Ballot Board should have functioned); and
- Certify the approval of each of the individual petitions containing only one proposed constitutional amendment to the Attorney General
In layman’s terms, this is asking the Supreme Court of Ohio to review and establish that there was legal error in the final decision from the Ohio Ballot Board when it cleared the abortion ballot initiative to begin the process of collecting 413,000 signatures by July 5, 2023, so that it could be placed on the November 2023 ballot.
The entire Verified Complaint for the WRIT OF MANDAMUS can be read Here.
Cincinnati Right to Life has sounded the alarm for some time now that Ohio is the top new target of the abortion industry. Their efforts are not only to codify abortion through all nine months, but to remove all parental rights over all medical decisions of a minor, and will perpetuate men sexually exploiting women in Ohio.
The abortion industry in Ohio has the backing of abortion money nationwide and an aggressive lobbying presence in the state house. This Mandamus action establishes that Ohio law must be followed and that no special interest can mislead Ohio voters when trying to place such a drastically radical initiative on the ballot.
At the time when I received AG Yost’s approval of the initiative email, I used his contact protocol to note that the initiative is vague and misleading with its health of the mother language. That could (and often is) interpreted to mean anything that the abortion industry wants it to mean.
I never heard back from Mr. Yost. I think that I deserved better.
Your friend for Life,