Ohio state legislators say they intend to upend the state’s legislative narrative, pushing for a state constitutional amendment to legalize abortion in exchange for several bans being considered.
State Representatives Michelle Lepore-Hagan, de Youngstown, and Jessica Miranda of De Forest Park face a fierce battle to get the measure through a general assembly that currently has a super Republican majority, and one that has imposed several “trigger” bans if passed, it would take effect in Case of Overturning or Changing the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in Roe v. Wade.
Under the amendment, which Ohioans will vote on if passed by the House and Senate, surgical and medical abortion services will be enshrined in a revised Ohio law, along with contraceptives.
Representatives said the amendment attempt came after a draft ruling by US Judge Samuel Alito that includes a future ruling that could limit or repeal the legality of abortion nationwide. In announcing their proposed amendment, Lebor Hagan and Miranda stated that the opinion, though not the court’s final opinion, “provides a 50-year reflection on safe and legal access to abortion in the United States.”
“I will not stand idly by and allow political extremists to take us back to a time when individuals were unable to make their own health care decisions and access the care they needed in their communities,” Lebor-Hagan said in a statement. “No one should be compelled to become pregnant against his will.”
The constitutional amendment requires three-fifths of the legislature’s approval for its passage, and it must be received 90 days before the election to put it on the ballot.
An accompanying Senate resolution led by state senators Nikki Antonio, D-Lakewood and Sandra Williams, D-Cleveland, was also planned. Success in the Senate will depend on Republican support, just as victory in the House of Representatives.
“In vetoing women’s right to choose, I share the concern that we will lay out a roadmap to overturn other civil rights, including protecting the LGBTQ community,” Antonio wrote in her statement.
The sponsors of the amendment are still in the process of gathering the co-sponsors and drafting the bill, after which it will be formally introduced and passed on to a committee.
This story was originally published in The Ohio Capital Journal and is republished here with permission.
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