On August 8, 2023, Ohio voters will have the opportunity to vote no on Issue One; to turn back a Republican attempt to keep a simple majority of citizens from successfully exercising their right to overturn and invalidate egregious laws or amend the Ohio Constitution. We must not let this happen. That aside, we must not lose sight of why Republicans are so desperate to pass Issue One next month. One word: abortion.
In November, voters will have the opportunity to pass the Reproductive Rights Amendment. The passage of this amendment will legalize abortion in Ohio and put an end to Evangelical and conservative Catholic attempts to abolish and criminalize abortion. Left to their own devices, God’s Only Party will criminalize abortion, take away exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, and ban certain forms of birth control. In other words, Republicans want to force women to give birth regardless of their circumstances.
700,000 signatures were collected to put the Reproductive Rights Amendment on the November ballot. 700,000! Republicans know that this number alone is a sign that the amendment will pass. So, using Issue One, they want to change the percentage of votes for passage from fifty percent to sixty percent. This ten percent swing could be enough to defeat the Reproductive Rights Amendment.
Forced birthers are primarily motivated by their religious beliefs. Most of them vote Republican. All of us have a right to believe whatever we want about God and life. However, we don’t have the right to force our religious views on others. Whether to have an abortion is a personal decision. If conservative Christians don’t want to get an abortion, fine, they don’t have to get one. End of discussion. However, other women may believe differently. Should they not have the right to make medical decisions for themselves? Republicans have no business getting in between a pregnant woman and her doctor.
If Ohioans who support the reproductive rights of women and think majority rule is sacrosanct turn out and vote, we will turn back the latest attempt by Ohio Republicans to force their religious beliefs on all of us. We will let them know that we have no intention of giving up the power to turn back egregious laws passed by legislators who are out of touch with everyday Ohioans.
Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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