Ohio "Personhood" Initiative (2013)
The following is information obtained from the supporting side of the measure:
- Personhood USA President Keith Mason stated: "We're raising the issue up and producing the social tension necessary to change the way our country treats a pre-born child.
- Dr. Patrick Johnston, family physician and head of the campaign, stated: "It's a good state to go directly to the voters to gather enough signatures, and then go to the voters and the ballot box and bypass the committees that end up corrupting good pro-life legislation in the House of Representatives and the Senate."
The following is information obtained from the opposing side of the measure:
- Tara Broderick, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio, categorized the initiative and its impacts as "dangerous and deceptive," stating: "If it passes, it changes the state constitution and puts the government smack in the middle of personal, private medical decisions between women and their doctors."
- See also: List of ballot measure lawsuits in 2012
Healthy Families Ohio, Inc. v. Ohio Ballot Board
In March of 2012, a lawsuit was filed against the initiative effort. The lawsuit was filed by Healthy Families Ohio, who argued that the measure addressed two subjects and should have been split into two separate measures. However, proponents argued that the goal of the initiative was to ban abortion in the state of Ohio, and nothing else. The Ohio Supreme Court threw out the lawsuit on March 21. According to Personhood Ohio spokesman Dr. Patrick Johnston: "They were trying to derail our petition process. We're trying to gather signatures to put a personhood amendment on the ballot in Ohio, which will end all abortion, protect every unborn child. And, of course, as you can imagine, they're doing everything they can to keep it off the ballot. They don't want Ohioans to vote on this issue."
- Documents in the case can be found here.
Path to the ballot
However, it was reported on June 21, 2012 that the group behind the initiative were well short of the signature threshold, only collecting 20,000 signatures with less than a month remaining before the deadline. Patrick Johnston, the director of Personhood Ohio, stated, "I don't know what I'm going to get the last week of this month, but it needs to be a ton to get it by July 4." The measure did not make the ballot, according to reports.
Supporters of the proposal have until July 3, 2013 to turn in the required 385,247 signatures in order to place the measure on the ballot.
- 2013 ballot measures
- Ohio 2013 ballot measures
- List of Ohio ballot measures
- Laws governing the initiative process in Ohio
- Florida Independent, "‘Personhood’ effort revs up in Ohio", September 2, 2011
- Ohio.com, "‘Personhood’ in Ohio", November 13, 2011
- Houston Chronicle, "Group wants to put abortion ban on Ohio ballot", August 31, 2011
- One News Now, "Personhood initiative alive in Buckeye State", September 15, 2011
- One News Now, "Good start for Ohio's personhood measure", March 23, 2012
- Cincinnati.com, "Politics Extra Personhood amendment to be one issue", January 9, 2012
- Charlotte Observer, "APNewsBreak: Ohio 'personhood' push faces hurdle", June 21, 2012
- Life News, "Personhood Amendments Fail to Qualify in Ohio, Elsewhere", July 3, 2012