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$5 Million Ad Campaign Launched Against Ohio's 'Disastrous' Abortion Amendment

AP Photo/Rebecca Santana

Protect Women Ohio, a nascent group focused on championing women and parents in the Buckeye State, is launching a multi-million-dollar ad campaign to warn voters about a radical amendment to the state constitution that would gut existing health and safety protections for women and girls, abolish parental consent and notification requirements for abortion, and allow abortion later in pregnancy than current law allows.

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The amendment recently cleared the hurdle necessary for its proponents to move forward with gathering signatures to place the measure — which would enshrine the right to abortion in Ohio's constitution — as pro-abortion activists work toward getting the amendment on November's ballot. previously reported. 

"Moms and dads will be cut out of the most important and life-altering decisions of their child’s life, if this passes," warned Protect Women Ohio Board member Molly Smith. "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," Smith continued. 

According to Smith, the amendment's text prohibits state laws that "directly or indirectly" place a "burden" on or "interfere" with any "reproductive decisions." Smith said those specific legal terms have been cited by courts elsewhere to invalidate laws requiring parental notification and consent.

"Ohioans must vote ‘no’ on this dangerous proposal," Smith added. 

The coalition of concerned family members, pro-life leaders, parents, medical experts, and faith leaders who make up Protect Women Ohio are investing $5 million to launch a statewide ad campaign warning against the proposed amendment, with a TV spot hitting the air beginning Wednesday.

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Beyond enshrining abortion in Ohio's constitution, the amendment would also remove certain requirements for minors undergoing sex-change surgeries. As Carrie Severino and Frank Scaturro explained in an analysis of the amendment, "the measure would go much further" than pro-abortion groups' "collective desire to repeal Ohio’s heartbeat law." 

"The proposed amendment would outlaw virtually any restrictions on abortion and all other procedures, including sex-change surgeries, that touch on reproduction, for both adults and minors," Severino and Scaturro continued. 

The "disastrous" proposal "would cancel out not only parental-consent laws but also mere parental notification for minors’ abortions or sex-change surgeries," they add. It would also "strike down health protections for people of all ages who undergo these procedures, including requirements that a qualified physician perform them; and erase any meaningful limits on late-term abortions."

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Constitutional amendments have been pursued in the wake of the Supreme Court's opinion that struck down Roe v. Wade based on the 1973 decision's flawed legal reasoning. In 2022, voters in Michigan approved an amendment enshrining abortion rights while voters in Kansas rejected a proposed amendment that would have made clear there was no right to abortion in the Sunflower State. 

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