The State Republican Party took two important actions at the May 5 State Central Committee meeting. Members voted unanimously against the so-called “abortion rights” constitutional amendment that is likely to appear on the November ballot. They also voted unanimously to support a resolution and implore lawmakers to pass the Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment which would change the way citizen- initiated petitions can propose constitutional amendments.
“Abortion rights” amendment takes power from parents and legislators
The committee voted unanimously against the Democrat-supported amendment to enshrine reproductive rights for adults and minors into the Ohio Constitution. Supporters are in the process of collecting signatures to put the amendment on November ballot. As it stands today, this amendment could pass with a vote of 50% plus 1 vote.
A legal analysis that appeared in National Review called the porposal “disastrous” because it would outlaw virtually any restrictions on abortion and all other reproductive procedures, including sex-change surgeries, that touch on reproduction, for both adults and minors. It would cancel out not only parental-consent laws but also mere parental notification for minors’ abortions or sex-change surgeries. Complete strangers who assist children in obtaining life-altering procedures would find themselves on the right side of the law, while parents who try to protect their children would be deemed to have run afoul of the law. And if enshrined as part of the state constitution, Ohioans elected representatives in Columbus will be powerless to pass any statute that would undo the damage.
Chairman vows to defeat amendment
In a video presentation posted after the meeting, Chairman of Republican party Alex Triantafilou took a strong stand against the “abortion rights” amendment from a very narrow point of view: that it would allow the abortion of full-term babies. He called it “the greatest threat from the Democrats,” and the language in the amendment “vague and dishonest.” He went on to say, “We will not let this stand” and vowed that the Republican party “will be launching our efforts… to expose the truth”
Voted to protect the Ohio Constitution from wealthy liberal groups
State Central Committee members also voted unanimously to support a resolution and implore lawmakers to pass the Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment which aims to alter the process of how initiative petitions can propose constitutional amendments. The Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment, Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 2, would mandate a 60 percent approval percentage for any future constitutional amendments, call for signatures from all 88 counties, and do away with the opportunity to “cure” petitions by collecting additional signatures if necessary.
Amendment process – most expedient path for Democrat agenda
This vote comes as Republican leaders, lawmakers, Pro-Life groups, constitutional rights groups, and gun rights groups have aligned in support of the effort to protect the Ohio Constitution from citizen-initiated ballot amendments sponsored by wealthy special interest groups seeking to enshrine liberal-backed rights into the constitution bypassing elected representatives.
The “abortion rights” amendment is just the most recent example of how constitutional amendments can be used to enshrine rights into the constitution and bypass the legislative process altogether. Ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage and reform the state’s redistricting process are already in the works.
Deadline for House vote is Wednesday May 10
The resolution directs lawmakers to approve SJR 2, which is only waiting on a House floor vote, and legislation to allow for an August special election to vote on the amendment. Supporters say they have the votes to pass it, but Republican House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) has once again delayed a floor vote on the legislation pushing it right up until its deadline of May 10th. Stephens stall tactics have infuriated members of the Central Committee.
Members voice frustrations with Speaker and call for vote
Central committee members voiced their frustrations with speaker Stephens and the Gang of 22 – those Republicans who voted with Democrats to elect Stephens as Speaker. Central Committee member Barbara Holwadel reportedly said, “I think it’s absolutely pathetic that we are standing here five days before the deadline.” The reason: “The 22 who voted with the Democrats which in my opinion is unforgivable.”
Committee member Melaine Leneghan is quoted as saying, “Even though this body voted to censure them [the 22], they basically flipped us off and said, we’re gonna continue on the road of hellfire setting this party back 40 years, and we don’t care what you say or what you do, we’re killing this bill.”
Committee member David Glass from Stephens’ district argued that Stephens must hold a vote. “If we don’t’ have the votes, let’s see which legislators are against this motion.”