In the bellwether state of Ohio, it’s easy to pass a constitutional amendment. It only takes 50 percent of a vote of the people. That’s why the state constitution has nearly 70,000 words. (The U.S. Constitution has 7000.)
Buckeye conservatives have seen the ease of amending Ohio’s constitution as a vulnerability for years. Aaron Baer, President of Ohio’s Center for Christian Virtue says, “it’s led to so many different issues and so many different problems that we’ve wanted to fix it.”
They’ve got their chance. A proposed amendment to enshrine abortion rights in Ohio’s constitution provides some urgency.
The Right to Make Reproductive Decisions Including Abortion Initiative — would wipe out abortion restrictions on the books in Ohio, including parental consent legislation. The amendment contains loopholes for transgender surgeries. According to The Washington Stand’s Susanne Bowdey, “If it passes, Ohio moms and dads will have zero say over their children’s abortions or bodily mutilation.”
Ohio is a pro-life state. Lawmakers there passed and the governor signed a six-week heartbeat law that is currently being blocked by the courts. But, in recent weeks, U-Haul trucks arrived at the state capital bearing 710,000 petition signatures, 300,000 more than required to get the amendment on the November ballot. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are pouring tens of millions of dollars into the signature-gathering effort.
The idea here is to undermine the work of Ohio’s pro-life legislature.
Conservatives in Ohio’s general assembly launched a counterattack. They set a vote to take place August 8, a special election in which voters will decide whether to raise the threshold for altering the state constitution from a simple majority to a 60 percent “supermajority.”
The pro-abortion left cannot rely on grassroots support. So special interests paid out-of-state signature-gatherers to get a radical pro-abortion amendment on the ballot in Ohio. They will spend heavily, and use manipulative messaging, to get the vote out. Passing Issue 1 makes that harder.