On Tuesday, September 19, the Ohio Supreme Court announced their ruling that the term “unborn child” will remain in an abortion amendment set to go on the upcoming ballot in November. This ruling signals a huge victory for pro-life activists that have been and will continue to work hard to protect unborn life. The SCOTUS announcement came after Ohioans for Reproductive Rights (ORR) filed a lawsuit over the language of the amendment.
The Ohio Supreme Court rules the term "unborn child" can remain in the ballot language for a November vote on whether to enshrine abortion protections in the state's constitution. https://t.co/7Hc5cqpJYo
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 20, 2023
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and his ballot board had voted 3-2 in August that the term “fetus” should be changed to “unborn child” so voters would have a better understanding of what was at stake with this amendment.
ORR argued that these changes were misleading and deceptive, but the court refused to remove it from the ballot, noting that even ORR did not argue it was factually inaccurate.
In addition, they also ordered that one section of the amendment be rewritten as it could give voters false impressions about its contents.
Currently, it states “prohibit the citizens of the State of Ohio from directly or indirectly burdening, penalizing, or prohibiting abortion before an unborn child is determined to be viable, unless the State demonstrates that it is using the least restrictive means” which suggests individual citizens cannot oppose abortion when this is not actually true.
This portion is going to be revised so there will no longer be any confusion around what exactly this amendment does if passed by voters in November.
Mary Cianciolo, spokesperson for LaRose’s office said they were pleased with how everything turned out and affirmed their commitment to ensuring everyone understands what this amendment means come election day: “By rejecting special interest attempts to substitute their own carefully crafted and poll tested language for that of the ballot board, they have ensured Ohio voters will have a full and accurate understanding of the proposed measure when they go to cast their ballots.”
This decision is great news for those who want unborn children protected legally as it helps keep them safe from harm until birth in some cases.
While ORR was unsuccessful in removing this language from appearing on ballots during November’s elections, they still managed to get some changes made which will help prevent confusion among voters over whether or not individuals can take action against abortions if desired due to some potentially misleading wording present before now.