Kate A. Makra, Executive Director of Cleveland Right to Life and a licensed attorney, argues that the abortion industry and its cohorts are pushing a dangerous “reproductive health care” constitutional amendment in Ohio that will remove current health and safety protections for women, eviscerate parental rights and allow painful, late-term abortion.
She recently outlined her arguments in a well-sourced guest column published at Cleveland.com. Supporters of the amendment are currently collecting signatures in hopes of placing it on the November ballot. If passed by the voters, this amendment would enshrine these rights and protections in the Ohio Constitution with no path for legislative redress — a backdoor work around the Republican majority in the legislature and Ohio Supreme Court. The column reads in part:
Under the guise of “reproductive health care,” the abortion industry and its cohorts are pushing a dangerous constitutional amendment in Ohio that will remove current health and safety protections for women, eviscerate parental rights and allow painful, late-term abortion.
The disturbing initiative by Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom, a group bankrolled in part by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, does nothing to protect women and girls. In actuality, it is out-of-state special interest groups that would benefit from its passage.
Current Ohio law requires abortionists to either have hospital admitting privileges or be held to the same standards as other outpatient surgical centers in the event a woman suffers medical complications during an abortion. However, the proposed amendment would eliminate these requirements, thus endangering women’s health. We saw this during the Roe era when the U.S. Supreme Court found that laws requiring abortionists to have hospital-admitting privileges created an “undue burden.”
Additionally, Ohio law now requires that girls under 18 get permission from a parent or legal guardian before undergoing an abortion. This is common sense: Parents should be involved in one of the most important decisions their daughters could make. But this extreme amendment would remove parents from the picture, wiping out parental consent and notification requirements.
This blatant assault on parental rights is obvious when reading the language of the proposed amendment, which says that “the State shall not, directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with …” an individual’s “reproductive” decisions.
The ACLU has a long and well-documented history of arguing parental-consent laws pose a “burden” to minors obtaining abortions, arguing against such laws in Alaska and Indiana. The ACLU’s own website has an entire page dedicated to calling out parental consent, claiming it would restrict “teenagers’ access to abortion.”
Even more egregious is that, while parents are left in the dark, a third party who ”assists” in facilitating an abortion will be protected by the amendment. This means that an older boyfriend, coach or other adult who helps an underage girl get an abortion will not be punished for doing so.