Pro-choice groups remain aggressive following the overturn of Roe v. Wade last summer. Now they are seeking to keep teen abortions from parents.
Abortion supporters in Ohio submitted signatures to advance a proposed ballot amendment that would effectively outlaw any restrictions on abortion and other procedures that involve reproduction, including gender-transition surgeries, and would remove parental consent and notification requirements for minors who receive the procedures, “National Review” reported.
Ohio officials now will begin the process of validating the signatures. Signatures can be invalidated if they are duplicates, if the person wasn’t registered to vote at the address submitted or if the person’s handwriting was illegible. Officials must determine whether the effort has enough valid signatures to make the November ballot by July 25.
The amendment, which has been heavily promoted by national media, includes vague language about prohibiting any law that “directly or indirectly” would “burden” or “interfere” with “reproductive decisions.” Opponents of the measure argue it would also outlaw nearly any restrictions on abortion or other reproduction-related procedures, removing requirements for parental-consent and parental notification, as well as protections for people who undergo the procedures, including requirements that a qualified physician perform them.
Opponents warn the overly broad use of the phrase “reproductive decisions” would mean the measure would very likely extend to gender-transition treatment. The proposal does not distinguish between minors and adults.
In response to the signatures being submitted, Protect Women Ohio, pro-life group opposing the initiative, called the ballot measure an “extreme anti-parent amendment” and an attempt by the ACLU to “hijack Ohio’s constitution.”
“As goes Ohio, so goes the rest of the nation,” said Mike Gonidakis, the president of Ohio Right to Life, an anti-abortion group.
Pro-life groups also decried the millions of out-of-state funding from pro-abortion groups that paid for signature collections.
The amendment was written by the ACLU, which has spent years fighting to remove parental involvement from abortion and gender-transition procedures. The group says on its website that parental consent and notification laws restrict teenagers’ access to abortion. In 2016, the ACLU sided with Planned Parenthood in an Alaska lawsuit that aimed to overturn parental notification laws in the state. One year later, the ACLU argued that parental consent laws in Indiana created an “unconstitutional undue burden.” The group is currently campaigning for a constitutional amendment in Oregon that would allow children to get an abortion without parental knowledge.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice