Ohio abortion measure would end parental consent for gender surgeries, critics warn

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Parents in Ohio are fighting a state constitutional amendment that they say would strip the rights of parents to give consent on abortion or gender-altering surgeries.

Protect Women Ohio (PWO), which describes itself as a ‘pro-woman, pro-parent coalition,’ launched a multi-million-dollar television and digital ad campaign statewide today aimed at defeating the ‘extreme amendment’ to the Ohio Constitution.

That amendment supported by Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom and Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights could be added to the November 2023 ballot. It was approved by the Ohio Ballot Board on Monday, meaning that proponents of the group now have to earn enough signatures to make it a ballot measure.

The amendment states that ‘every 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.’

‘While Republican politicians in Columbus and Washington are working overtime to implement extreme laws that would make abortion illegal, we’re committed to the work of getting commonsense abortion rights on the ballot and passed by a majority of Ohioans,’ said Ohio Democratic Party Chairwoman Elizabeth Walters, who supports the amendment.

Opponents of the bill like Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino and Frank Scaturo say the amendment would ‘effectively obliterate most limits to abortion or sex-change surgery, among its other far-reaching consequences.’

‘Headlines have largely framed the proposed amendment as a means of adding a right to abortion to the state constitution,’ the duo said in an op-ed Monday published in National Review.

‘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,’ they said.

‘It would cancel out not only parental-consent laws but also mere parental notification for minors’ abortions or sex-change surgeries; 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.’

‘Moms and dads will be cut out of the most important and life-altering decisions of their child’s life, if this passes,’ said Molly Smith, PWO board member said Wednesday.

‘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.’

PWO says it will spend $5 million on advertising in the state over the next four weeks for this first phase of its effort to defeat the amendment.

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