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ACOG Condemns the Politically Charged Language in the Ohio Ballot Initiative Summary

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The following is a statement from Molly Meegan, JD, chief legal officer and general counsel of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

“By replacing the actual language of Section 22, the proposed Constitutional Amendment Relating to Abortion and Other Reproductive Decisions, with its own biased summary, the Ohio Ballot Board has ensured that deceptive language will be the only thing voters see when attempting to be heard on these issues. The so-called ‘summary’ is misleading and inaccurate; leaves out any mention of the value of individual autonomy related to contraception, fertility treatment, and miscarriage management; and replaces the actual text with emotionally charged language. The summary is another attempt to remove decisions about reproductive health care from Ohio residents, replace them with the judgment of partisan forces that do not reflect the will of the voters, and impose bureaucrats’ personal ideology on the voters of Ohio.

The language used to discuss abortion has a profound impact on how people form their opinions about reproductive health care, and the emotionally charged language that will now be presented to voters is neither clinically nor legally sound. Opponents of abortion access have historically and intentionally used emotionally coercive language, even creating their own biased terminology, in order to sway people away from understanding the reality of abortion care. 

“We strongly oppose the efforts of biased policy makers to manipulate people at the ballot box, and we urge voters to see through these attempts to influence their decisions and to advance protections for all the people whose lives would be benefited by the passage of Section 22. We also look forward to working with our members in Ohio to continue to build back abortion protections that exceed the scope of those provided by Section 22 in order to ensure that all people can access abortion care where they need it, when they need it, and without legislative interference.”

Topics Abortion