The Highland County Democratic Party endorses a vote yes on Issue One.
We value all votes on this issue, but we encourage you to know the facts before you vote. There is a massive amount of misinformation about this proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution. Unfortunately, it is coming to you from Ohio Republican elected officials, including the governor and his wife. You may have seen their untrue commercial.
It is also being promoted by the local Republican party officials through printed handouts. You can read the full amendment and not just rely on the confusing ballot language at this website — http://readtheamendment.com.
Here are the facts, according to the non-partisan League of Women Voters of Ohio:
* The amendment protects reproductive rights for women and families.
* Abortion will be legal after viability only if the life or physical health of the mother is in jeopardy. This medical condition is determined by the patient’s physician. Typically, abortion during this period is very, very rare and only when the mother’s life is in jeopardy or viability is uncertain.
* The amendment, if passed, would not change parent rights! The current Ohio law regarding minors under the age of 18 will remain as it has been. Voting yes will not change this at all. At least one parent would need to provide consent for a minor. If a minor cannot tell a parent about the pregnancy, then there is a process for a judicial order. This is current Ohio law and will not change with a yes vote.
* The amendment has nothing to do with gender-affirming care. Nothing! The Republican Ohio Leadership recently passed a ban on abortion that has no exceptions for rape or incest or age of the mother. Under that law, a 10-year-old victim of incest would be required to complete the pregnancy. That law is currently on hold due to court order, but would likely be approved if Issue One fails.
We think that actions to reduce abortions should be based on facts and statistics. Did you know that since the 1990s, the number of abortions in the U.S. has decreased by 66%? That is wonderful and we would hope the number of abortions continues to decrease. In Ohio, the number has ticked up in the last few years and that could be due to decreased funding by the Republican leaders for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide education and access for family planning.
We think that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to increase education and access to reproductive health care for all. The Ohio leadership could do that through funding for basic health care in all parts of Ohio. They can reduce the cost of adoption and ensure a foster care system that protects adopting families. Additionally, they could increase career and job development programs for women and men who live in poverty. They could enact and enforce laws that ensure that every father is financially responsible for their children.
There are lots of things our Ohio leadership can do to reduce the number of abortions.
The Ohio Department of Health publishes statistics about abortion on their website. Here is the link: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/vital-statistics/resources/vs-abortionreport2022. Let’s base our actions on things that would help women, men and families in Ohio. Making this illegal will not make it stop, it will just make it dangerous.
Thank you for voting.
Dinah Phillips, chair,