Bad Law. Why Is Issue 1 So Poorly Written?

The following is Father Strebler's Pastor's Column for the weekend of October7 & 8, 2023.

We do not need to get good laws to restrain bad people. We need to get good people to restrain us from bad laws.”--Gilbert K. Chesterton


Dear Parishioners:

I have been making the case for the value of life and the taking of that life through abortion.  Let’s look at the text of Issue 1, which we should be voting against  in November.

This is a bad law.  The text has all the elegance and rigor one would expect of a law written on a Denny’s placemat by a group of people at 1 am.  It is so vague and general as to be open to wide interpretations.   The pro-Issue 1 people keep telling us what the law doesn’t say.  Most of what they claim the law will not do and does not say, it does.

One of the keys is that the amendment speaks of individuals, (“woman” is not mentioned the amendment) there is no limit on age or any aspect of the individual.  Children who cannot legally buy alcohol or cigarettes can seek out abortion and contraception, all without any parental consent.

This law states, The State shall not directly or indirectly burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against either:

An individual’s exercise of this right
A person or entity that assists an individual in exercising this right.

This law gives legal protection to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood and could be taken as to making protesting at an abortion facility illegal, though I would hope a U.S. Constitutional challenge on a freedom of speech could trump this.  It also mean that entities such as schools and school employees could assist minors abortion and birth control with immunity.

It makes abortion possible though all nine months of pregnancy.  This is beyond what most people, even those who are sympathetic to abortion, find acceptable.  The criterion for allowing this is that the individual’s doctor judges it to be necessary for the patient’s life or health.  This is an abortion doctor making the judgment.  How do you think that someone whose livelihood is based on aborting children will find on this?  The health of the mother is widely interpreted.  It takes in even that the mother finds pregnancy inconvenient.

This Amendment takes away the ability of “The State”, that is, any “governmental entity or political subdivision.”  This takes away the rights of cities, school boards, and zoning boards.  Remember, this is coming from some of the same people who in the August election were proclaiming, “one person, one vote.” This amendment renders voters powerless.  Any reasonable person should be able to see that this issue should not be addressed at the Ohio Constitutional level.

This is to be added to the Bill of Rights of the Ohio Constitution.  A lawyer I know said that the vagueness of this amendment means that it will be continually argued in the Ohio Supreme Court.  Ohio deserves better law than this!


Rev. Charles F. Strebler