Anti-abortion groups launch $5M Ohio ad campaign

Dayton Right to Life part of coalition opposing proposal to change to Ohio constitution.

Credit: Barbara Perenic

Credit: Barbara Perenic

Dayton Right to Life said it’s partnering with a statewide coalition of pro-life, anti-abortion groups in a media campaign called “Protect Women Ohio.”

The campaign is spending $5 million on advertisements opposing groups seeking to bring a constitutional amendment before voters in November that would ensure access to abortion for Ohioans.

“Dayton Right to Life is ready to fight for the future of Ohio. This dangerous constitutional amendment is attack on women, parents, and children. Should this amendment be enshrined in our constitution, Ohio’s women and children will be preyed upon by the profit-driven abortion and sex change industries,” said Margie Christie, executive director of Dayton Right to Life. “As a parent, we should be extremely concerned with how this amendment will leave our children vulnerable to radical and extreme ideologies. We must do everything possible to stop this.”

The campaign is responding to groups seeking to have an amendment added to the Ohio Constitution that would provide that every “individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions,” including abortion. Ages of the individuals are not included in the proposed amendment.

It is currently unclear how, if this proposed amendment were to be added to the November ballot and later adopted by voters, how it will impact Ohio’s current parental involvement laws. If a minor is considering an abortion, Ohio law requires a parent or guardian to give permission for the abortion, although a judge may be able to excuse the individual from this requirement through a judicial bypass.

The proposed amendment does not include language referencing “sex change” or gender-affirming care. It states “[e]very individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion.”

Additional language in the proposed amendment goes over the state cannot interfere with individuals exercising this right, along with exceptions to this right and definitions of fetal viability.

“Moms and dads will be cut out of the most important and life-altering decisions of their lives child’s life, if this passes,” said Molly Smith, board member of Protect Women Ohio. “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.”

Groups supporting access to abortion said the ad campaign was “false” and “deceptive.”

“Ohioans and their families deserve to make their own decisions about their unique circumstances in consultation with their doctor. The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety amendment will enable patients to make those decisions free from government interference,” said Dr. Lauren Beene, executive director Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights.

“There is absolutely nothing in the amendment that mentions or supersedes Ohio’s parental consent laws. Their intentionally deceptive ad is the beginning of a multi-million-dollar disinformation campaign designed to raise unsubstantiated fears and distract from the fact that the amendment will ensure Ohioans have access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion, and preserve the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship.”

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