Ohio GOP Twists Wording Of Abortion Ballot Measure

The Associated Press reports:

The Ohio Ballot Board approved language Thursday for a fall measure seeking to establish abortion access as a fundamental right, but one Democratic member blasted it as “rife with misleading and defective language.”

Key among opponents’ objections were several aspects of language developed by Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, an abortion opponent, which they warned could prompt a legal challenge. Among the revisions, the word “fetus” in the amendment was changed to “unborn child” in the ballot description.

The original language seeks to assure access to abortion through what is called viability, when the fetus is able to survive outside the womb. LaRose’s summary turned that section on its head. It now says the amendment would “always allow an unborn child to be aborted at any stage of pregnancy, regardless of viability if, in the treating physician’s determination” the life and health exception applies.

The Huffington Post reports:

“Secretary of State Frank LaRose today exploited the Ohio Ballot Board process in a last-ditch effort to deceive and confuse Ohio voters ahead of the November vote on reproductive freedom,” Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, one of the main groups advocating for the amendment, said in a press release on Thursday.

Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights and other abortion rights advocates had requested that that ballot language mirror the full constitutional amendment to ensure accuracy and transparency.

The Nov. 7 vote on the pro-choice constitutional amendment will also be called Issue 1, adding more confusion for both abortion rights advocates and opponents given that the August special election on raising the vote threshold was also called Issue 1.