In a victory for the ever-aggressive abortion industry, Ohio’s Issue 1 passed on Election Tuesday by a margin of 57 to 43 percent, enshrining baby-killing as a “right” in the state’s constitution. The pro-aborts won in urban areas such as Cleveland and Cincinnati. Pro-lifers’ margin in more sparsely populated rural counties was nowhere near enough to counter pro-abort numbers.
The ballot initiative victory in Ohio is already being touted as a model for abortionist advancement in other states. It follows similar victories in California, Vermont, and Michigan.
Life Legal’s response to the disappointing vote is not to give in to despair but to analyze the reasons for the pro-abort victory – so as to prepare for further deceptive pro-abort ballot measures.
In our estimation, the pro-aborts won by a combination of money, media, and misinformation.
- Pro-aborts outspent pro-lifers by millions. This gave them a huge advertising advantage, enabling them to pitch their abominable initiative as a dose of all-American common sense.
- Media outlets consistently bolstered pro-abort propaganda and even “debunked” pro-life talking points. Did the proposition allow for abortion up to the moment of birth? Did it invalidate parental consent requirements? Did it open the door for limitless surgical gender reassignment on minors? No, no, no! cried the fact checkers. When these results inevitably occur, the same shills will smile, shrug, and say: “Let’s move on….”
- Proponents of the ballot measure successfully conveyed the impression that abortions were performed by personal physicians and only for the most serious reasons. They fit their radical proposal into the familiar frame of hard cases and doctor-patient privacy – and the public bought the false picture.
Is there hope for Ohio – and for the rest of the country – in the wake of this insane result?
There really is.
The amendment was passed according to the very lowest possible standard: a simple majority vote in a single state. It can be overturned according to the same standard. And constitutional amendments are overturned. Can anyone say “Prohibition”?
Likewise, if the pro-life movement redoubles its educational efforts, and addresses the inequities that plagued the No-on-1 campaign in Ohio, it can defeat subsequent ballot measures. It won’t be easy, but it can be done.
- Rational argument is necessary and great, and pro-lifers excel at it, but it is not the pathway to persuasion that we wish it were. The pro-aborts always emphasize hard cases such as rape and incest, and polling indicates that this strategy works well for them. But we pro-lifers have hard-case appeals of our own – especially maternal injury and death and the use of abortion to cover up for sex crimes. In general, we need to target the fraudulent paradigm that abortionists proceed like ordinary physicians through consultation, diagnosis, consideration of options, and informed consent. The public needs to realize that abortion mills operate a disassembly line of death that has nothing to do with traditional medicine.
- Pro-lifers need to bypass our adversaries’ advantages in advertising dollars and media allies. We at Life Legal did what we could in Ohio with a series of pro-life billboards. But what we did needs to be done for a more extended time and on a much larger scale. Only then will we have a fighting chance to counteract floods of pro-abortion misinformation.
- Above all, pro-lifers need to fight the temptation to lose heart. Our movement has been knocked down and counted out round after round for the last fifty years, but we never gave up. Eventually, we achieved what the “experts” said was impossible: the collapse of Roe v. Wade.
Just as the seeds of Roe’s fall were implicit in Roe itself, so the seeds of reversal are present in Issue 1 and measures like it. Couched in foggy rhetoric such as “reproductive freedom,” they will inevitably lead, as Roe did, to outrageous consequences. Yes, Issue 1 will occasion abortions to the moment of birth. Yes, it will invalidate parental consent. Yes, it will feed children to the gender reassignment industry – which is already adopting the abortion industry’s business model.
When these consequences surface, pro-lifers will be able to use them against the pro-aborts – but only if the educational groundwork has been laid in advance.
Be of good cheer, pro-life soldiers! Our movement has never shied away from a challenge. In the long run, we only lose if we let the abortionists defeat us. And we can’t allow that to happen – because human lives, and not just our feelings, are at stake.
If you haven’t lost heart, you may want to contribute to Life Legal’s efforts today. Let us prepare now for the pro-life battles of the future!