News Abortion

Ohio AG Approves “Personhood” Amendment Language

Robin Marty

Attorney General Mike DeWine approves the ballot language, calling it "fair and truthful."

The Ohio Attorney General approved a ballot initiative over the weekend that could ban all abortions in Ohio, as well as contraception, fertility treatments, health care for pregnant women and other basic health care.

Like many other so-called personhood groups, the Ohio egg-as-person movement (which believes that fertilized eggs have more rights than the women in whose body they are floating) is promoting a ballot initiative that would declare a fertilized egg has the same legal rights as a fully-developed person.  With the AG’s approval of the initiative’s language, supporters can now begin the process of gathering nearly 400,000 signatures in the next six months.

This is the second time the language has been submitted to the AG; the first time the language was rejected because the effects were determined to be too vague and unclear.


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When [Personhood Ohio] refiled its petition earlier this month, the supporters rephrased the amendment to say it wouldn’t affect “genuine contraception” or in vitro fertilization procedures.

“That wording will be very helpful when people go to the ballot box and they read what our amendment would not do,” Johnston said.

An opponent group called Healthy Families Ohio has taken issue with the summary language. In a letter this week, its lawyer urged DeWine to reject the wording because it is vague and could mislead voters.

Attorney Don McTigue said among other problems, the summary of the proposal doesn’t sufficiently explain the exceptions for contraception or in vitro fertilization.

No egg-as-person initiative has ever successfully been approved by the voters.

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