Ohio’s Constitution is Not for Sale

Ohio’s Constitution is Not for Sale

Please read and share this op-ed from Ohio State Treasurer Robert Sprague which appeared in the Cincinnati Inquirer.

Special interest groups from the coasts are trying to buy an amendment to Ohio’s constitution. Before voting this November, you should know the truth about what this amendment would do to the founding document of our state, as well as what it would do to your family and your relationship to your children.

First, you need to know that this amendment would legalize abortions in the third trimester, even up to the point of birth. These babies are fully formed in the womb, capable of survival outside the womb, with beating hearts and the ability to feel pain.

The language of the amendment reads: “But in no case may such an abortion be prohibited if in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician it is necessary to protect the pregnant patients’ life or health.” The legal precedent for health is physical, emotional, psychological, familial health or the woman’s age. Thus, any abortion up to the point of birth will be legal as long as the abortion provider thinks it will protect the “emotional health” of the mother.

Second, the amendment would eliminate most regulations on abortion clinics in Ohio. This would make abortion clinics nearly untouchable and unregulated by the state. Abortions could be performed by non-doctors.

The National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood believe the abortion industry should be allowed to set its own standards for safety, without oversight from the state. Someone could own a building with a pizza shop in front and an abortion clinic in the back, and the pizza shop would have more regulations and supervision than the abortion clinic under Ohio law.

Third, the amendment would strip Ohio parents of their right to consent and be notified so they can help their children if they are considering a sex-change surgery. You might think it is odd to include sex changes in an amendment about abortion, but that’s how vaguely this amendment defines “reproductive decisions” − “including but not limited to” abortion. Parents will be deprived of their right to consent to these procedures and, thus, be stripped of their ability to protect, counsel, and console their children during the most difficult time in their young lives.

Whatever their view of children having a sex-change surgery, most people on both sides agree that it should not be performed on children without parental consent.

The proposed Ohio amendment would turn this commonsense familial principle upside-down, dictating that every minor must have access to such procedures and that there is nothing an objecting parent can do about it. How would you feel about a doctor performing that surgery on your son or daughter, knowing that you are powerless to intervene, help, counsel or stop it?

As the parents of five children, my wife and I would stop at nothing to ensure their safety. That includes talking with them and guiding them when they are facing a challenging obstacle or decision. I know this is true of all Ohioans. Everyone wants what is best for their kids.

Ohio should be a safe place for children, where parents are the final authority on what is good for their families. Ohio should have a culture of life, where we rejoice and give thanks for beautiful little babies, and where we protect them, guide them and nurture them. Little ones are the heart and soul of Ohio, and we should have a commonsense constitution that protects them.

You will no doubt hear from the advocates of this amendment that it is simply a return to the days of Roe v. Wade. Make no mistake, it is not. It is a bald-faced push to make Ohio the most extreme abortion state in the union.

Ohio is just one part of a concerted effort to radicalize abortion laws in states across the country. This fall, voters will have the opportunity − and in my opinion, the responsibility − to tell these special interest groups that Ohio’s constitution is not for sale.

There are a wide range of opinions when it comes to the issue of abortion. It is likely the most contentious and divisive issue in our political discourse today. But no matter where one stands on the matter, I hope everyone can agree that these dangerous policies have no business being cemented in our state’s founding document by people from outside Ohio.

Robert Sprague is Ohio’s 49th Treasurer of State.

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