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OPINION

On Abortion We Should Guard Against 'Tyranny of the Majority'

On Abortion We Should Guard Against 'Tyranny of the Majority'

(Robert Bleile/Dreamstime.com)

Frank Pavone By Friday, 04 August 2023 04:38 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

The abortion battle in Ohio is hotter than ever.

Voters in Ohio are already casting their ballots for "Issue 1" to be decided on Aug. 8, 2023.

The measure would increase the threshold for amending the state’s Constitution, from 50% plus one to 60%.

How does this relate to abortion?

In November of 2023 voters will decide whether to amend the Ohio Constitution to explicitly include a right to abortion.

This, of course, would put into the Ohio Constitution a "right" which the Supreme Court, in its decision, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Healh Organization, just pointed out was never asserted in American constitutional history, in any of the 50 states, until Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). 

Now it's possible, through the slick ads and soundbites that can make citizens believe they are voting for their very survival, that the abortion lobby could get more than 50% of the citizens to vote "Yes" on such an amendment.

But even with the pro-abortion money pouring in from out of state and the deceptive language they are so good at using, it is highly unlikely that a yes vote in November could reach 60%.

Moreover, not only would this amendment expand abortion beyond the limits that most Americans prefer, but it would deprive parents of their rights to be involved in minor daughter’s decision about abortion --- or about any other matter regarding "reproductive freedom" (i.e. including transgender surgery, etc.).

But even apart from the specific vote coming in November, raising the threshold for amending the Constitution makes a lot of good sense. A Constitution is the foundation and boundary of statutory law.

It should be harder to change it than to change the laws themselves.

Look at our federal Constitution. Amending it is probably the hardest thing to do in American public policy --- requiring two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, and three-fourths of the states.

But this shows the wisdom of our Founders, who set the bar high so as to require (and stimulate) strong consensus among the American people before such wide-reaching changes are enacted.

Various groups in Ohio who oppose raising their threshold to 60% complain, in the words of several Ohio legislators, that such a change "Ends Majority Rule" and puts 40% of voters in charge of decision-making for the majority."

While these people likely passed their arithmetic exams in school, I doubt they passed their civics exams . . . because the idea that a minority should be able at times to stop a majority is a quintessentially American idea.

In the Federalist papers, our Founders warned about "factions."

They meant that a particular segment of the populace could, by being stirred up by persuasive speakers or reactions to particular events, influence public policy in a direction that harms the common good or destroys the rights of the minority.

Think again, for instance, of the parental rights issue related to the Ohio vote in November.

The Founders feared the "tyranny of the majority." American government is not direct democracy or simply "majority rule." It is representative government, replete with mechanisms that divide power and protect the rights of the minority.

This is why we don’t elect a president by popular vote, but rather by the Electoral College, lest New York and California decide every election.

This is also why the smallest state, the largest state, and all the states in between have two U.S. senators, and why there is value to the Senate filibuster.

So yes, sometimes 40% of the people should be able to stop what 60% want --- because the 40% have rights, too, and sometimes the majority is wrong.

Those who believe they are right should accept the challenge of persuading their fellow citizens, through a process that requires consent not just from one faction, but from a wide variety of people with diverse interests, opinions and needs.

Let’s encourage a Yes" vote" this coming Aug. 8, on Issue 1 in Ohio.

(A related article may be found here.)

(More information may be found here: www.EndAbortionOH.US.)

Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent anti-abortion leaders globally. Read Frank Pavone Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


FrankPavone
The Founders feared the "tyranny of the majority." American government is not direct democracy or simply "majority rule." It is representative government, replete with mechanisms that divide power and protect the rights of the minority.
dobbs, ohio, roe
695
2023-38-04
Friday, 04 August 2023 04:38 AM
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