Ohio abortion opponents draw Michigan comparison to sound alarm on ballot initiative

From the Washington Examiner

Ohio advocates fighting an expansive abortion ballot initiative are pointing to Michigan as a preview of what could happen in the Buckeye State if voters accept a constitutional amendment ending abortion restrictions.

While Ohio’s Issue 1 sits on November’s ballot this year, which opponents say will allow anyone of any age to obtain an abortion or sex-change operation without parental consent, Michigan passed the similar Proposal 3 last year.

“Because of Prop 3, Michigan has become the wild, wild west where they have allowed radical abortion ideology to override common sense and compassionate medical safety requirements protecting women and children – not to mention parental rights,” Protect Women Ohio press secretary Amy Natoce said in a press release. “Ohio be warned: The tragic consequences of Michigan’s Prop 3 are coming to fruition less than a year after passage.”

The political debates over Proposition 3 were similar to the ones about Issue 1, especially in that proponents of the pro-abortion rights measure promised Michiganders the measure would not impede on parental rights or consent for minors.

Since its passing, Michigan has seen a concerted effort to effectively end parental consent laws, with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) saying in May the successful ballot measure didn’t go far enough. “There is more work to do here to repeal outdated, medically unnecessary, unconstitutional abortion restrictions,” Whitmer said. “There are several pieces of legislation and policies that we can pursue, and I look forward to working with all of my allies here with Planned Parenthood and my partners in the legislature to make sure that we get it done.”

Pending legislation backed by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan calls for dropping the parental consent and 24-hour waiting period requirement for children to obtain an abortion.

The Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union added, “We must fulfill the promise of Proposal 3, which guarantees the constitutional right to abortion and all decisions related to reproductive health.”

Ohio’s Issue 1 is backed by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, which have attacked parental notification requirements in court and through the legislative process.

The Cincinnati Enquirer confirmed the expansiveness of the Ohio proposal, noting that “the Ohio Constitution would supersede state law, where most abortion policy is written.”

Several OB-GYNs have also entered the debate in Ohio, as Issue 1 supporters are running an ad they deem “medical misinformation.”

The ad, run by the ACLU-backed Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, implies the state’s current abortion restrictions ban emergency care for miscarriages and birth control.

“I can’t let the medical misinformation in the recent ad from proponents of Issue 1 stand,” Dr. Michael Parker, a board-certified Ohio OB-GYN with 30 years of experience, said in response to the ad. “Their assertion that treatment for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriage is in danger without the amendment could not be further from the truth. These conditions are entirely different from elective abortion. I can care now for my patients with these conditions just as I always have.”

Dr. Kathleen Lutter, another Ohio board-certified OB-GYN with 39 years of experience, called Issue 1 “an insult to me and to the women that I serve every day,” adding that “the abortion industry wants to talk about these non-issues because they don’t want you to know what their amendment is really about: an extreme agenda that legalized painful abortions up until birth and takes rights away from parents.”

In the backdrop of the comparison to Michigan is the long-standing rivalry between the two states, arguably starting in the 1835-36 “Toledo War,” a boundary dispute between Ohio and then-territory Michigan, which has been symbolically replayed through the fierce football feud between the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes.