Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 1, 2023 / 10:15 am
A group that is leading a ballot initiative to establish abortion rights in the Ohio Constitution sued state officials this week after a board finalized ballot language that uses the term “unborn child” rather than the group’s preference to use the term “fetus.”
Although the pro-abortion ballot initiative, titled Issue 1, is guaranteed to appear on the Nov. 7 ballots, the Ohio Supreme Court will need to decide what language voters will see when they enter the ballot box to cast their vote.
The Ohio Ballot Board approved ballot language for Issue 1, which states that the proposed amendment would prohibit the government from restricting abortion “before an unborn child is determined to be viable” but 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 abortion is necessary to protect the pregnant woman’s life or health.”
Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, which is an ad hoc pro-abortion group created to push the ballot initiative, argued in its lawsuit that any reference to an “unborn child” would introduce an “ethical judgment” about “what stage of development a zygote, embryo, or fetus becomes a ‘child.’” The group petitioned the Ohio Supreme Court to order that the state provide voters with the exact language of the proposed amendment, rather than use the language finalized by the board.