By State Sen. Paula Hicks Hudson
When one of my Republican colleagues said to me after they had passed the Heartbeat Bill, “NOW (my emphasis) government would have to do something to help the babies.” At the time, I thought maybe this would mean better benefits to families, better access to healthcare, living wages and affordable housing. But unfortunately, that is not the case.
You may be thinking, why is Paula talking about these topics when this article is supposed to discuss Issue 1, the constitutional amendment that will protect and preserve reproductive health freedom. (By now, I hope you have heard or seen the ads on Issue 1).
My opinion and thoughts are tied to how some of us in the state legislature pass laws and make decisions without looking at the real effect those decisions have on real Ohioans. The Heartbeat bill was passed with the idea to protect the unborn. However, when you look at the actions of the majority party legislators, there is a continuing struggle to provide earned income tax credits for the working poor or to provide pre-k instruction so these babies will start school ready to learn. Instead, the legislature spends time on issues that are not about Ohioans that in fact hurt us.
But the rhetoric contained in the ads opposing Issue 1 is trying to scare people into voting no. The extreme ads paint a picture which does not now exist and won’t exist.
Let’s be clear: There’s nothing about parental rights in this amendment and independent fact checkers have already said those claims are not true. Parents will still be able to make decisions for their daughters. Doctors and families will be able to make health care decisions. The rhetoric that this campaign is fueled by out-of-state “special interests” isn’t true. Hundreds of local organizations, 4,000 Ohio doctors and medical professionals, clergy, and over 700,000 Ohio voters put this amendment on the ballot. Ohioans — not out of state donors — will protect their reproductive freedom in November.
There are reasonable restrictions to having an abortion after fetal viability exist. I have heard from Ob Gyn doctors about the uncertainty of how they can practice their profession if Issue One does not pass.
The amendment will simply restore the framework that was established after the Roe v. Wade decision, a framework that is supported by the majority of Americans. I have heard from a number of young people who are seriously considering moving from Ohio – especially doctors, lawyers, teachers and young families –if Issue 1 fails.
No Ohioan should have to flee the state to get the care they need. Rember that our current law forced a 10-year-old rape victim’s parents and family to travel to Indiana because it was illegal for her to receive care here in Ohio.
This amendment is about personal freedom, who makes personal decisions for yourself and your
family – you or the government. No matter how you feel about abortion personally, government should not have the power to impose its will when it comes to these extremely personal decisions.
I am a Senator, but I’m not a doctor, and that’s exactly the point. We need to leave these decisions up to Ohio women, their families and their doctors. Not politicians.
Issue One will allow individuals to make their own decision about reproductive health. Sure, this bill will protect a woman’s right to choose whether to an abortion or not. But more importantly, it will take government out of the decision-making process for a most personal decision. I have always believed in the right for one to make decisions about their lives.
A ”Yes” on Issue 1 will allow you to make decisions about your bodies. Issue 1 would enshrine reproductive rights into the Ohio Constitution, by guaranteeing the right to abortion and protecting the right to other reproductive health care such as contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care and the right to continue a pregnancy.