This column was first published at First Things. Ohio voters have enshrined abortion rights in the state constitution. On November 7, they endorsed the “Right to Make Reproductive Decisions Including Abortion Initiative,” known as Ohio Issue 1, by a wide margin. The vote created a state constitutional right to “make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to” abortion and contraception. This initiative also bars the state from passing any laws to protect pre-born human life until after viability. Even then, a proviso stating that abortion must be available when “necessary to protect the patient’s life or health” is deliberately vague enough to permit abortion until birth. Abortion activists already
They had states rights to slavehold before the thirteenth amendment. Created equal promised abolition of slavery then; it promises abolition of abortion now. Dobbs stripped the winds of inalienable from the sails of created equal by allowing states to decide about abortion. Dobbs has made it harder to seem serious about abolition, but we need a human life amendment to celebrate created equals birthday in 2026.