Democrats called out new language added to a proposed abortion amendment Thursday that changed the term “fetus” to an “unborn child,” according to the Ohio Capital Journal.
The members of the Ohio Ballot Board, which include Secretary of State Frank LaRose, voted 3 to 2 to alter the previous version of the amendment from “abortion may be prohibited after fetal viability” to new language that reads the state must “always allow an unborn child to be aborted at any stage of pregnancy, regardless of viability” when necessary to preserve the health of the mother, according to the Ohio Capital Journal. The Democratic members of the board criticized the move, arguing that the original language was fine on its own. (RELATED: ‘Extreme Agenda’: Activists Are Turning To Constitutional Amendments To Enshrine Abortion Into Law In These States)
LaRose said during the meeting that the changes were made and approved by the board, but Democratic board member and state Rep. Elliot Forhan argued that “I would assume that the buck stops with the secretary of state,” according to the Ohio Capital Journal. Democratic state Sen. Paula Hicks-Hudson made multiple motions to bring back the original text of the amendment, saying that the language was “clear, it’s concise and it’s direct, which is one of the requirements that’s needed for us to present to voters in the state of Ohio.”
HAPPENING NOW: Ohio Ballot Board is hearing two versions of the abortion rights amendment that will be on the ballot this Nov.
The first is the one voters signed onto, the second is done by the Ballot Board GOP.
— Morgan Trau (@MorganTrau) August 24, 2023
The board adopted the new language to ensure that it accurately identifies the substance of the proposal,” Mary Cianciolo, LaRose’s interim press secretary, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The language adopted by the ballot board yesterday meets that constitutional requirement,” Cianciolo said. “The constitution does not require the ballot board to adopt the selective language proposed by initiative petitioners.”
If passed, the amendment would allow abortions up to birth if deemed necessary by a doctor and would only let the state make restrictions on the practice if it does not interfere with protecting the life of the mother.
The state held a special election on Aug. 8 to vote on a GOP proposal that would have made it more difficult to pass a constitutional amendment, but it failed to pass. Voters will be able to vote on the proposal during the Nov. 7 general election.
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