Ohio’s Late-Term Abortion Problem

By Marjorie Dannenfelser & Aaron Baer, originally published April 17, 2024, RealClear Policy

Following the Dobbs decision, Ohio’s strong pro-life laws were able to be enforced protecting unborn babies and their mothers. This was thanks to President Donald Trump. He did what no previous president had been willing to do in committing and following through on his promise to appoint pro-life justices to the Supreme Court. It’s no question he is the most pro-life president we have had.

But last November, Ohio became one of 26 states to allow late-term abortions. Deceived by ads branding the abortion ballot measure as women’s healthcare, voters approved a sweeping amendment which puts 30,000 lives at risk annually. With second- and third-trimester abortions now written in the state’s constitution, Ohio needs a national law protecting babies from painful late-term abortion.

President Trump’s recent statement saying that only states should act on abortion puts this urgent need for Ohio and many other states at risk. An estimated 55,800 lives could be saved through a modest federal minimum standard beginning at 15 weeks of pregnancy across Ohio and 25 other states which allow abortion until viability or in all nine months of pregnancy.

Imagine the impact these precious girls and boys could have on our country if given the right to live. Families, communities, and our nation as a whole would be much better off with their inclusion. Think of the businesses they would start, the classrooms they would lead, the problems they would solve, and the future kids and grandkids they would bring into the world.

Ohio’s ballot measure passed because abortion activists ran a campaign of fear based on lies. They lied saying women would die if the amendment did not pass because women would not be able to receive miscarriage care. This is despite the fact that pregnant women’s ability to receive emergency care was spelled out black and white in the heartbeat law and the 22-week law that had been in effect.    

With the help of Big Abortion and George Soros, pro-abortion forces spent a staggering $66.7 million on this campaign – outspending pro-life forces by a 2:1 margin. Big Abortion can afford to spend so much in these races because they see an ROI when they can profit off the lives of babies. 

Additionally, the media propped up lies. Abortion activists’ lies were carried by a left-wing media machine which operated like Planned Parenthood’s PR department. The media repeatedly masked their opinion pieces as “news” and repeatedly quoted so-called “independent experts” in their fact checks who were documented leftists and they failed to fact check the obvious lie about miscarriage care.  

The unfortunate result is that today in Ohio we have an amendment enshrining late-term abortion. And abortion advocates are already on attack using the amendment in a new lawsuit to derail Ohio’s common-sense laws ensuring women provide informed consent before an abortion. These extreme views are not aligned with the views of Ohioans or even the American people, which poll after poll shows support limiting abortion after the first trimester.

Ohio leaders cannot abandon the women and 30,000 unborn children who are now at risk because of the new abortion amendment. That’s why we continue to fight. U.S. Senate candidate Bernie Moreno stood strong in the fight against the Ohio abortion amendment and is continuing to stand for a consensus position to protect babies who can feel pain. With the support of a national pro-life leader in the White House, and the support of the state’s elected pro-life leaders, including U.S. Senator JD Vance, and soon-to-be U.S. Senator Moreno, we could save lives.

Ohio is not an anomaly. In fact, many Republicans have won elections post-Dobbs after embracing pro-life protections, including every Republican governor who was up for re-election and Senators Rubio and Budd, who, like Senator Vance, contrasted their reasonable pro-life positions with the extremism of their Democrat opponents.

We know how high the stakes are this election. With Joe Biden’s commitment to erase every pro-life law in every state, we know Biden must be defeated this November. But our hope is that President Trump will embrace protections for the unborn at both the state and federal level. Our youngest American citizens in Ohio and elsewhere are depending on it.

Marjorie Dannenfelser is president of SBA Pro-Life America. Aaron Baer is president of Center for Christian Virtue in Ohio.