As an unapologetically pro-life Ohioan and Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, I personally see it as our duty to protect as many unborn babies as possible. Fighting for those who have not yet had an opportunity to have a voice of their own is fundamental.
However, as I have discussed this issue at length, I understand that there are many Ohioans who believe there should be some ability for women to obtain an abortion. How far into pregnancy that ability should exist seems to be the crux of the debate we are seeing unfold since the fall of Roe v Wade.
Complete abortion ban? Heartbeat Bill? Banned after the first trimester? Banned when the baby can feel pain or is viable? Coming to a consensus on what degree of restriction there should be on abortion is the heart of the abortion debate.
Where Democrats are missing the mark is that they have excluded themselves from having an honest conversation.
Whether it is Gavin Newsome in California or Sherrod Brown here in Ohio, Democrats are completely incapable of articulating what legal restrictions they are in favor of. Leading up to the 2022 election, I was amazed to watch someone like Tim Ryan, a formerly pro-life Democrat, completely subscribe to this idea that there should be zero restrictions on abortion. Clearly the old mantra of “safe, legal, and rare” is nothing but a relic in today’s Democrat party.
Now, Democrat extremism is on full display with Issue 1. Democrats are using the landmark Dobbs decision to push for the most radical and extreme proposal we have ever seen in Ohio.
Issue 1 is intentionally deceptive and was clearly constructed to eliminate all legal restrictions on abortion, so long as a Planned Parenthood abortionist declares it necessary.
This amendment also takes the dangerous step of allowing parents to be cut out of the decision-making process if their minor child becomes pregnant. Parents have a right to be involved in these life-changing decisions, yet Democrats are more than happy to cast them aside if it helps them achieve their goals.
Make no mistake, voting No on Issue 1 is not just for staunchly pro-life Ohioans. Even those who may consider themselves pro-choice should take a hard look at what this amendment will actually do. In the wake of the Dobbs decision, Democrats chose to push for the elimination of every restriction on the books, even up to the moment of birth.
This dangerous overreach is the decision they came to, and it is up to Ohio to search our collective conscience and realize that codifying unfettered abortion, on demand, even in the late stages of pregnancy, is not the answer.
Regardless of where you stand on what constitutes a reasonable restriction on abortion, Issue 1 is clearly bad for our state. Every Ohioan should vote “No” on Issue 1.
Author Alex Triantafilou is Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party
First appeared in Highland County Press on October 23, 2023.