Ohio to Vote to Protect Children or Not

Issue 1 will be determined today

Citizens in Ohio are going to the ballot box today to vote not for a candidate or a vacated seat but to vote on an amendment to the State’s Constitution known as Issue 1. Those not living in Ohio probably are unaware of the ballot initiative. Still, today’s vote will have far-reaching implications for other states, specifically the abortion debate.

The State of Ohio is truly a bell-weather state, meaning it usually votes for the president who will be elected. Ohio correctly picked the president 91% of the time in all but two presidential elections (1980 & 2020). This is why so much out-of-state money and effort have gone into the Issue 1 ballot initiative.

Since 1912, Ohio has only required a majority vote to pass a constitutional amendment. Issue 1 wants to raise the bar to 60% of the vote.  Any petition for consideration after January 1, 2024, must require 5% signatures of eligible voters in each county (88) in Ohio. The previous rule only mandates 44 counties. The object of Issue 1 is to make it harder to propose constitutional amendments and get them passed. By requiring all counties to be represented, a group cannot only go to counties where they know there are favorable voters to sign the petition and push through questionable changes. 

Carol Tobias, the president of the National Right to Life Committee, argued, “The Founding Fathers made it difficult on purpose because they knew it shouldn’t be changed with the prevailing wind of the day,” she said, adding that the current majority vote threshold in Ohio and many other states “sends the message that if you don’t like what the legislature is doing, you can just put it on the ballot, and soon the constitution will be thousands of pages long and be completely meaningless.”

Let there be no mistake about it; the initiative is not about what the radical left always contends about the power of the electorate’s vote. On the contrary, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade, the left wants to enshrine fetal murder in every state constitution rendering the Supreme Court decision moot. Further, by opposing Issue 1, the left seeks to continue to erode parental rights and indoctrinate youth in the evils of transgenderism.

Catholics for Catholics rallied in a suburb of Cincinnati last Sunday, drawing over 3000 people on short notice.  On their website, they urge the voters of Ohio to help protect the vulnerable by voting yes to Issue 1. “Issue 1 is part of a fight culminating this November over a ballot measure that would enshrine abortion in the Ohio Constitution and limit parents’ legal right to consent to what procedures are done on their children; critics say the amendment would remove the parental notification requirement for minors who want to have an abortion or so-called sex-change operation.”  

Becoming all too predictable, none of the bishops of Ohio have said a word, nor has the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops commented on Issue 1 either. The bishops found their voices during the last presidential election when they endorsed Biden for president. Only one courageous bishop from Tyler, Texas, Joseph Strickland, who is unafraid to speak in the public square, prayed the rosary with those at the rally supporting Issue 1. 

Bishop Strickland thanked those present “for taking the Lord’s Day…to do what we should do on a Sunday, to be with family and friends, to pray, to support the truth, to live for the Lord of life,” Strickland introduced the Rosary, saying, “Now we turn to the greatest power we have: the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” 

“I welcome those of you who may not be part of the Catholic community, but you are part of the family of God, and you are precious in His sight. We are precious before our loving God if we are breathing; that is God’s sign to us that He loves us no matter what we do. And because He loves us, He calls us from sin to [a] virtuous life in the light of His Son.” 

If you are not a Buckeye voter, there is still time to pray that Issue 1 passes. If you are a resident of Ohio, there is still time to pray and vote “yes” for Issue 1.

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