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Tipsheet

ACLU Attorney Says Parental Consent Laws ‘Should Not Be Enforced’ If Radical Abortion Amendment Passes

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

This month, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio stated that parental consent and notification laws “should not be enforced” if Ohio voters successfully pass a radical anti-parent, pro-abortion amendment during the November election. 

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Jessie Hill, a law professor working with the ACLU of Ohio and Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom told Cleveland-based outlet Ideastream Public Media that the passage of the amendment “would mean that laws that conflict with it cannot be enforced, should not be enforced.” 

In an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer, Hill said that “[r]ight now, we have extremist politicians who are eager to bring back a dangerous six-week abortion ban, and who want to go even further to limit Ohioans’ reproductive freedoms." 

"These decisions rightfully belong to patients and physicians, and that’s why we’re putting this issue before the people,” she added.

To recap, Sarah noted this month that Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, certified a petition for a proposed amendment to enshrine abortion rights in the state. The amendment states that “every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on: 1. Contraception; 2. Fertility treatment; 3. Continuing one’s own pregnancy; 4. Miscarriage care; and 5. Abortion.”

Furthermore, the amendment states that the State shall not “directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against either: 1. An individual’s voluntary exercise of this right or 2. A person or entity that assists an individual exercising this right.”

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Molly Smith, a board member of Protect Women Ohio, a pro-life, pro-parental rights coalition, said that these legal terms have been cited by courts in the past to invalidate laws that require parental notification and consent for abortion and other procedures, which Spencer covered. PWO recently launched a multi-million-dollar campaign to warn voters about the radical abortion amendment, just after proponents of it cleared the first hurdle needed to move forward with gathering signatures to place it on the ballot in November. 

"Moms and dads will be cut out of the most important and life-altering decisions of their child’s life, if this passes," Smith said. "This extreme amendment eliminates any current or future protections for minors requiring parents be notified and consent before their child undergoes a procedure like an abortion or sex change surgery.”

"Ohioans must vote ‘no’ on this dangerous proposal," she added. “The ACLU and the abortion industry have a long history of working to abolish parental rights and they are now bringing this anti-parent campaign to our state, hoping to enshrine their hostile political agenda in our state constitution."

On Twitter, PWO noted that the ACLU has a lengthy history of working to wipe out parents’ rights. 

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Other pro-life organizations have sounded the alarm over the amendment. 

“Regardless of what your views are on abortion, everyone should be concerned about this radical ballot measure that eliminates basic health care regulations and contains no protections for women’s safety,” SBA Pro-Life America’s State Affairs Director Sue Liebel said of the amendment. “It’s extremely concerning that it would take Ohio’s law on parental consent off the books, and it would forbid mothers and fathers from being able to have a say or any knowledge if their daughter seeks an abortion.”

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The Cincinnati Inquirer reported that Ohio pro-life groups have asked the state Supreme Court to order the Ohio Ballot Board to reconvene and split the amendment into multiple issues. 

"The legal challenge argues that abortion and continuing one's pregnancy are inherently different than decisions about contraception, fertility treatment and miscarriage care, but the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution lumps them together as "reproductive decisions,'" the report said.

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