Ohio’s Attorney General Confirms Issue 1 Allows Abortions Up to Birth

State   |   Mattison Brooks   |   Oct 12, 2023   |   5:05PM   |   Washington, DC

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” It’s a quote often attributed to former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a fierce defender of life and the preborn (though some sources argue it first came from British author George Orwell). It applies beautifully to actions recently taken by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who last week released legal analysis on the impact that the November 7th vote on Issue 1 could have on the Buckeye State. According to reporting from Cleveland.com 

“Yost contends that Issue 1 would create stronger protections for abortion than those that existed nationwide until last year, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned legal protections for abortion nationwide by striking down Roe v. Wade and another landmark decision from 1992, Casey v. Planned Parenthood. The distinction has to do with the legal standard any abortion regulation would have to meet under the language in Issue 1, versus the standard that the previous two U.S. Supreme Court decisions established.

“The proposed Amendment appears to borrow some concepts from the Roe era, but also creates a new, legal standard that goes beyond what Roe and Casey said,” Yost wrote in the analysis.

Yost went on to suggest that Issue 1, if passed, could be cited in overturning a number of the abortion bans and abortion restrictions that Republican lawmakers have passed in recent years.”

He is of course telling the truth here – which is probably why the abortion industrial complex and their corporate supporters from out of state hate it so much. In September 2022, Yost was sued for enforcing the Ohio Heartbeat Protection Act by a local abortion facility, supported by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood. The current Ohio law allows for abortion up to five months into a pregnancy, but a heartbeat law was passed and signed in 2019.  

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Yost summarized that should the vote favor the pro-abortion side, the following laws would be invalidated in Ohio:  

  • The state’s “heartbeat” law, which would prohibit abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy, with no exemptions for rape or incest 
  • Another law that restricts abortion 20 weeks into pregnancy 
  • A law that bars doctors from committing an abortion after a prenatal screening detects fetal Down Syndrome 
  • A law that requires someone seeking an abortion to wait for 24 hours first 
  • Laws restricting the dilation and extraction method and the dilation and evacuation method of abortion, which are committed later in pregnancy

Looking at it another way, the ballot initiative changes to the state constitution will: 

  • Prohibit any attempt to “burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate” against abortion 
  • Establish a “right” to sterilizing treatments, by saying that “reproductive decisions” must be allowed 
  • Attack parental involvement and notification by defining a “right” for “individuals” to get abortions, meaning citizens of all ages 
  • Ensure that any “person” that “assists” an “individual” to get an abortion, or receive sterilizing surgery, or exposure to irreversible hormones will be protected against prosecution 
  • Prevent criminal prosecution of instances where abortion is used to cover up crimes like rape 
  • Open the door to Ohioans’ tax money being used to pay for abortion 

But what Yost has done with his analysis is nothing short of a revelation. By explaining what the proposed ballot measures do and outlining in clear language what is at stake, he’s taken away one of the most important tools that the abortion lobby relies on with ballot initiatives in general: confusion and obfuscation.  

This isn’t the first time that Ohio’s public servants have sought to clarify language, either. Several weeks ago, Secretary of State Frank LaRose pushed for language changes on the ballot to explain that the amendment would “always allow an unborn child to be aborted at any stage of pregnancy, regardless of viability if, in the treating physician’s determination the life and health exception applies.” 

It’s an encouraging sign, regardless of the outcome, that more and more pro-life politicians and legislators are stepping forward to boldly proclaim the truth. It’s already had an impact too – newly released data from the Ohio Department of Health shows a 15% reduction in the total number of abortions from 2021 to 2022.  

In the coming weeks leading up to the vote on November 7, Students for Life Action will keep pounding the pavement and engaging voters, recruiting, training, and creating a groundswell of active, grassroots supporters to push back against this pro-abortion radicalism. 

LifeNews Note: Mattison Brooks writes for Students for Life, where this column originally appeared.