Left-Wing Groups Spend Nearly $700K on Ad Claiming Ohio Abortion Ballot Measure ‘Protects Freedom’

Abortion rights demonstrator Elizabeth White leads a chant in response to the Dobbs v Jack
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The group pushing an abortion ballot amendment in Ohio launched an ad this week claiming the measure will protect Ohioans “freedom.”

Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights — a coalition comprised of far-left groups such as URGE, ACLU of Ohio, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio — spent $687,000 for a week to run its first 30-second ad on cable and network television in the Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland markets, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported, citing Medium Buying, a Columbus-based ad buying and tracking company.

The ad makes no mention of more controversial aspects of the ballot measure, instead invoking conservative imagery, opposition to government overreach, and mentions of “faith” and “family.”

“When we face personal medical decisions, we depend on our doctors, our faith, our family. And the last thing we want is government making those decisions for us,” the ad states. “That’s why voting yes on Issue 1 is so important. It ends Ohio’s extreme abortion ban — a ban with no exceptions for rape or incest. Issue 1 even protects birth control and emergency care for miscarriages, so Ohio families will always have the freedom to make the most personal of decisions. Vote ‘Yes.'”


In contrast to the picture painted by the advertisement, the original text of the proposed amendment is extremely broad and makes no differentiation between minors and adults, instead opting to use the term “individual.”

The abortion ballot measure states 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.”

Under the amendment, the state would also not be allowed to:

…directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against either an individual’s voluntary exercise of this right or a person or entity that assists an individual exercising this right, unless the state demonstrates that it is using the least restrictive means to advance the individuals health in accordance with widely accepted and evidence-based standards of care.

The text also states that abortions may be prohibited after viability, “[b]ut in no case may such an abortion be prohibited if in the professional judgement of the pregnant patient’s treating physician it is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.” 

Critics of the ballot measure have urgently warned that the amendment would decimate parental rights, lead to abortion on demand, and even allow minors to pursue sex-change procedures. Coalition members have notably long campaigned to end parental involvement laws.

The ACLU of Ohio is responsible for crafting the broad language of the proposed abortion amendment, along with other groups such as Planned Parenthood. Left-wing fact-checkers have quickly asserted that the amendment would not impact parental rights. But when local media questioned the ACLU of Ohio about whether or not the language of the measure would undo parental consent and notification laws, the organization vaguely indicated that those laws would not stand if the amendment passes.

A group fighting Issue 1, called Protect Women Ohio (PWO), slammed the ad and accused the pro-abortion groups of misleading Ohioans.

“Big surprise — the backers of Issue 1 buried the lead about their radical anti-parent agenda. Again. Their newest ad is filled with distractions and holes, failing to mention that Issue 1 will strip parents of their rights, permit painful, late-term abortion on demand through all nine months, and remove commonsense health and safety protections for women,” PWO press secretary Amy Natoce told Life News.

“The groups behind Issue 1 know their amendment is so wildly out of step with Ohio values that they won’t even tell Ohioans the truth about it. What are they so afraid of? They wrote this dangerous amendment — it’s time they own every single word of it,” Natoce continued. 

“The backers of Issue 1 have taken their lies to a whole new level in this ad, telling voters they cannot receive emergency miscarriage care under current Ohio law,” she added. “This bold-faced lie is nothing more than fear mongering that puts women’s lives at risk, and is a desperate attempt to distract voters from the dangers lurking inside Issue 1.”


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