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Abortion on demand at any time for any reason...no matter what
By Kristina D. Roegner
October 18, 2023
On The Record

Editor’s Note:  Even though the vote on this issue did not go our way, we are keeping this piece posted on OTR so readers can see for themselves whether the author's predictions following the vote are coming true.

The proposed constitutional amendment Issue 1 on the November ballot would give Ohio the most radical pro-abortion law in the nation.

This is why I rose to speak on the Senate floor last week in support of Resolution 215, which opposes Issue 1 on the November ballot.

If Issue 1 becomes a constitutional amendment it would permanently:

  • Remove virtually all limits on abortions.
  • Legalize abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy.
  • Give Planned Parenthood the power to make life and death decisions.

That’s because this proposal has a catastrophic defect:  it is not specific enough to identify what will actually happen if it becomes law.

My concern is the language is so broad and so vague it will allow the worst atrocities imaginable:

  • painful late-term abortions – even at nine months.
  • the dismemberment of fully conscious children.
  • abortions even after a child is born alive.
  • abortions based on a child’s sex, race, or disability.

Although backers claim this amendment provides limits on abortions, it will actually eliminate ALL restrictions.

For instance, the amendment provides that:

"Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion."  

That means the amendment has no limits on any reproductive decision.

How else would a judge read that?

As an alert Plain Dealer reader observed in a letter to the editor, “What if there was tax levy that read, ‘The sales tax in the county will be 2% but not limited to 2%?’ Would you vote to approve that levy?”

The amendment’s vague language creates loopholes you could drive a truck through. Look at the wording of the medical exception:  

“...in no case may such an abortion be prohibited if in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician it is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.”

Who is really making that decision? How often will the “patient’s treating physician” be an employee of an abortion provider such as Planned Parenthood? 

Abortion providers are the last people in the world who should be entrusted with such a life or death decision because they actually have a financial interest in advocating for abortion.

How is “the pregnant patient’s life or health” defined? Anything could be defined as a threat to a patient’s health, especially her mental health. 

If a patient decides in the ninth month of her pregnancy that a child would be too inconvenient, it wouldn’t take much of a nudge to persuade an abortion-providing doctor that her mental health was at stake.

That is why this amendment is a Trojan Horse – it promises safety and security but will actually accomplish the exact opposite.

This is exactly what Planned Parenthood wants. The abortion provider recently tweeted, “When it comes to your abortion, any reason is the right reason.”

You read that correctly – Planned Parenthood says any reason is a legitimate reason for an abortion.

This amendment gives Planned Parenthood its dream-come-true business scenario: an abortion for any reason.

Furthermore, the campaign waged by those supporting Issue 1 is extreme, nefarious, and misleading. 

Proponents are running a television ad that claims women cannot receive emergency care for miscarriages unless Issue 1 becomes law.

I wrote to the Director of the Ohio Department of Health, whose office confirmed that is false – and that “nothing in Ohio’s laws or regulations prevents a medical practitioner from providing that care.”


Additionally, proponents claim Issue 1 helps women when, in fact, it would harm women.  Issue 1 ignores Ohio’s already existing exceptions for the life and health of the mother in favor of establishing abortion on demand through all nine months.  

Issue One would eliminate many basic health and safety protections for women currently in law. That includes a safeguard requiring abortions be performed by a licensed doctor who can transfer a woman to a hospital if something goes wrong during the procedure.

(Watch Senator Roegner's floor speech defending life and opposing Issue 1 here.)

Additionally, this proposed amendment opens the door to removing parents from important decisions. The ballot language makes NO mention of parents or minors.  It is simply between the “individual”, “person” or  “woman” and the “treating physician.”

For-profit abortion providers could easily pressure children into life-altering decisions behind closed doors and without their parents in the room. This is particularly dangerous.

I am sincerely frightened that this offensive campaign is simply about protecting a billion-dollar abortion industry at the expense of untold babies’ lives.

As a lawmaker, a woman, and a mother, I find this prospect horrifying.

Human life is precious and must be protected – at all stages.

If we support the extermination of an entire class of human beings, and  don’t respect the sanctity of human life, what type of society are we?

What kind of people are we?

Senator Kristina Roegner represents Ohio Senate District 27