The Ohio Attorney General issued a strongly worded letter explaining his ruling that the ballot summary of the proposed Ohio Reproductive Freedom Amendment is “a fair and truthful statement of the measure being proposed.”
The measure, which is modeled on the California and Michigan amendments would dehumanize the child in the womb and allow abortion and embryo destructive medical practices through all nine months of pregnancy.
Because neither the ballot summary nor the amendment text itself are clear in addressing the issue of the personhood or the right to life of the preborn, many Ohio citizens are likely to be misled into thinking that the amendment deals only with the decision of a woman to decide when to have children.
The biological reality is that once a woman is pregnant, there is another human life that hangs in the balance, and the question is no longer one involving personal autonomy.
This all-important nuance is nowhere to be found in the ballot summary or the amendment text and is typical of the euphemistic slogans used by the abortion lobby as propaganda.
By determining the amendment to be “fair and truthful”, Attorney General Yost is derelict in his duty to ensure that the voters are given language that presents the matter in a manner for them to be able to make an informed decision.
Allowing the abortion activists to claim that the amendment is about personal freedom, while absolutely and permanently stripping the child in the womb of the right to life, is the epitome of deception.
The Ohio Constitution is clear in Article XVI, Section 1 that the language on the ballot may not mislead, deceive, or defraud voters.
The ballot language shall not be held invalid unless it is such as to mislead, deceive, or defraud the voters.https://ballotpedia.org/Article_XVI,_Ohio_Constitution#Section_1
Imagine a pro-slavery group had put an amendment on the ballot in 1864 stating that Ohio citizens have an absolute right to the enjoyment of their chattel property that cannot be limited by the legislature. Would this amendment be fair and truthful? After Dred Scott v. Sanford, the US Supreme Court had stripped African Americans of their citizenship, so in effect, the hypothetical language would protect the institution of African American slavery.
Would that hypothetical “Property Rights Amendment” be fair and truthful? Of course not!
In Dobbs v. Jackson, the majority of the US Supreme Court held that what makes the “right” to abortion different from other privacy or liberty interests is the fact that abortion involves another life.
Ordered liberty sets limits and defines the boundary between competing interests. Roe and Casey each struck a particular balance between the interests of a woman who wants an abortion and the interests of what they termed “potential life.” Roe, 410 U. S., at 150 (emphasis deleted); Casey, 505 U. S., at 852. But the people of the various States may evaluate those interests differently. In some States, voters may believe that the abortion right should be even more extensive than the right that Roe and Casey recognized. Voters in other States may wish to impose tight restrictions based on their belief that abortion destroys an “unborn human being.” Miss. Code Ann. §41–41–191(4)(b). Our Nation’s historical understanding of ordered liberty does not prevent the people’s elected representatives from deciding how abortion should be regulated.Dobbs v. Jackson, US Supreme Court 2022
Can Ohio’s pro-abortion amendment and accompanying summary be considered “fair and truthful” when it sets out to decide the question of abortion, which the supreme court has made clear involves competing interests, by referencing only one of the interests?
Every aspect of the amendment is suffused with the usual pro-abortion euphemisms using terms such as “reproductive freedom” to cover the real intent of the amendment, which is to deny the humanity and personhood of the preborn child?
If this is not misleading and deceptive then nothing is.
The idea that the lawfulness of abortion – the intentional killing of an innocent preborn human being – should be democratically decided is in itself highly problematic. Can any man-made law erase truly fundamental, or as the declaration of independence called them, inalienable human rights, such as the right to life, and be considered lawful by virtue of a simple vote of a majority? That is a question which political philosophers and the founders of the United States will struggle with forever.
John Adams famously stated that “our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” By that, he surely did not mean to impose religion upon the citizens of the United States, but instead acknowledged that democracy and freedom, when unchecked by a higher sense of right and wrong, are doomed to failure.
While the people of Ohio cannot legislatively create a moral and religious people, they can demand that constitutional amendments put on the ballot not mislead, deceive and defraud them of the democratic right of self-government.
Attorney General Dave Yost has made a grave mistake in approving the Ohio Reproductive Freedom ballot summary.
Mr. Yost’s fear of being accused of bias towards the pro-life side has blinded him to the fact that the euphemistic propaganda that pretends to strip the right to life of the preborn child without mentioning the right to life or the child, is neither truthful nor fair to the voters of Ohio.
Unless this deceptive amendment is stopped in its tracks, the deadly wreckage it will leave in its wake will make the toxic fumes of the Palestine railroad disaster pale in comparison.
By approving the ballot summary of Ohio’s abortion amendment, Attorney General David Yost has abdicated his duty as Attorney General and let down the voters of Ohio.