Ohio 'Personhood' Backers to Press On

Friday, 11 Nov 2011 04:21 AM

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Organizers behind an anti-abortion “personhood” amendment in Ohio say they’re still working to get the issue on the ballot, even if voters in other states have turned it down.
 
“We are never going to give up,” Patrick Johnston, a physician and amendment organizer, told The Columbus Dispatch. “This is the greatest human rights crisis in our generation.”
 
The proposed amendment declares that a person’s life begins the moment a human egg is fertilized, and would equate abortion to murder because an abortionist would be killing a legally defined person.
 
More than half of Mississippi voters rejected a similar amendment Tuesday, and another personhood amendment has failed twice in Colorado.
 
Sandy Theis, a spokeswoman for Healthy Families Ohio, a group that opposes the Ohio Personhood movement, said the amendment would not pass.
 
“If they can’t even get this passed in a state like Mississippi, they’re going to have a heck of a time getting it passed in Ohio,” she said.
 
The Mississippi amendment was more stringent than Ohio’s proposal. It would have outlawed all forms of abortion, including in cases of rape or incest, as well as some common forms of birth control and in-vitro fertilization.
 
Johnston said the wording of the proposed Ohio amendment would be altered to clarify that it wouldn’t affect in-vitro fertilization and contraceptives.
 
Theis said Healthy Families Ohio would be ready to fight against the amendment.
 
“They’ve made it really clear Ohio’s going to be the next battle in a nationwide war on women’s health and safety,” she said.
 
But Johnston said his group is ready to continue the fight, too.
 
“We have science and divine law on our side,” he said. “With God’s help, we will win.”

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