YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — For two and a half weeks, people in Ohio have been voting early in-person or by absentee ballot, and one issue they’ve been deciding on is abortion.
It’s Ohio Issue 1. A yes vote makes abortion more accessible, while a no vote makes it less accessible.
Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted is opposed to Issue 1 for two reasons. First, he’s opposed to the wording in the ballot language that would change Ohio’s constitution to “always allow an unborn child to be aborted at any stage of pregnancy, regardless of viability if, in the treating physician’s determination, the abortion is necessary to protect the pregnant woman’s life or health.”
“Which essentially says that if an abortionist wants to say for whatever reason that they can have an abortion in the third trimester, then they can,” Husted said.
“What the anti-abortion politicians are saying is now how healthcare is provided — it is not true,” said Lauren Blauvelt, with Ohioans for Reproductive Rights.
Blauvelt says late-term abortions are rare.
“And it is always because of issues that have come up in the pregnancy,” Blauvelt said.
When those issues come up, Blauvelt says decisions should be made by doctors.
“The government has no place making these deeply personal and complex medical decisions. They cannot be made by the government. They have to be made in hospitals, where they belong,” Blauvelt said.
“It would eliminate parental rights to consult with your own child before they have an abortion,” Husted said, listing his second reason for opposing Issue 1.
Though there are other laws protecting parents’ rights to know about a child’s medical procedures, Husted said an amendment to the constitution would override that.
“If you amend the constitution, that supersedes those other laws, because this is a constitutional amendment, not a law,” Husted said. “The constitution supersedes any laws protecting that parental consent standard.”
“Issue 1 does not change current law around parental consent,” Blauvelt said. “If, right now, a person under the age of 18 seeks an abortion or other medical procedures, they have to get permission from a parent or guardian — and that does not change under Issue 1.”
A poll by Baldwin Wallace University, released Oct. 17, surveyed 850 registered Ohio voters, returned the following results.
- Approved Issue 1 — 58.2%
- Opposed Issue 1 — 33.5%
- Undecided on Issue 1 — 8.2%
Of those surveyed, 750 identified as likely voters.