Abortion industry aims to change state constitutions, make killing unborn a ‘right’

By Around the Web

(Image courtesy Unsplash)
(Image courtesy Unsplash)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action News.]

By Bridget Sielicki
Live Action News

The reversal of Roe v. Wade in June 2022 gave each state more freedom in legislating abortion laws and protections for preborn children. In the 15 months that have followed, the abortion industry has gone on the attack and revealed its top strategy for promoting abortion and protecting its bottom line: changing state constitutions.

These state constitutional amendment campaigns are designed to look as though they are part of grassroots efforts; at first glance, groups with names like “Ohioans for Reproductive Rights,” “Floridians Protecting Freedom,” and “New Yorkers for Equal Rights” appear to be campaigns spearheaded by local citizens. But behind this façade, the campaigns are part of a larger, targeted effort driven by abortion industry stalwarts like Planned Parenthood, NARAL (which is now changing its name again, this time to “Reproductive Freedom for All“), and the ACLU.

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The language of “reproductive rights” or “freedom” or “equal rights” is, itself, misleading because it groups killing preborn humans (induced abortion, which is heavily controversial) together with things like access to miscarriage treatment (something that is not controversial). Pro-abortion laws create a special right to kill an already existing human being living in his or her mother’s womb. Pro-abortion laws and amendments do not provide freedom or equal rights to the humans who are being killed, yet they are disguised in the language of liberty.

Constitutional amendments constitute a radical new push by the abortion industry to solidify abortion in each state. They are much harder to reverse than laws, which can be changed with each legislative session — and, in many cases, these amendments may undo pro-life protections or abortion restrictions currently in place and passed by elected state lawmakers.

This extreme pro-abortion strategy has taken hold in a number of states.

In November 2022, Vermont became the first state to enshrine the “right” to abortion in the state’s constitution as Vermonters passed Article 22, the Reproductive Liberty Amendment.

The abortion industry, including Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, was active in campaigning for the constitutional amendment, despite the fact that Vermont was already considered an abortion-friendly state.

At the time, Lucy Leriche, vice president of Vermont Public Policy at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, revealed that constitutional amendment campaigns would be an abortion industry strategy when she told The Washington Post that Vermont was intended to be a “model” for the rest of the country.

“In states all over the country, politicians are moving to take away reproductive rights, specifically abortion rights, and we could be an example of another way,” she said.

Californians quickly followed Vermont with the passage of Proposition 1, which amended the state constitution “to prohibit the state from interfering with or denying an individual’s reproductive freedom, which is defined to include a right to an abortion and a right to contraceptives.”

Again, Planned Parenthood indicated that the push in California, where a pro-abortion victory was relatively easy to secure, was part of a larger strategy.

“We know other states are looking at California. And it’s why we worked so hard to send that message and not just not just narrowly passed this, but overwhelmingly passed this initiative,” said Jodi Hicks, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

Michigan passed its constitutional amendment, Proposition 3, last fall after raking in tens of millions of dollars from abortion backers. The amendment was heavily promoted by a political action committee called Reproductive Freedom of All, led by the ACLU of Michigan, Michigan Voices, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan. Michigan was the first state that pushed a constitutional amendment where a victory wasn’t guaranteed — in fact, the state had a trigger law from 1931 that prohibited abortion.

“There were a couple other ballot initiatives being run at the same time, but really Michigan was the test to see if we could win on abortion in the Midwest, in a purple state,” explained Bonsitu Kitaba-Gaviglio, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU of Michigan.

Ohio is currently in a much-publicized battle to amend the state’s constitution, with voters headed to the polls in November to determine the fate of abortion in the state. The amendment effort is headed by Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom — a coalition consisting of a number of groups, including ACLU of Ohio, Abortion Fund of Ohio, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, Ohio Women’s Alliance, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, Preterm-Cleveland (an abortion business responsible for the death of at least one abortion client), Pro-Choice Ohio, and URGE.

Opponents caution the amendment will allow minors to get abortions and strip parents of their rights.

During the petition effort to get the amendment on the ballot, a video showed a man from Michigan admitting that Planned Parenthood had paid him to travel to Ohio and collect signatures.

Protect Women Ohio (PWO), an organization fighting the amendment’s passage, warned earlier this year that the state was a pawn in part of a larger abortion industry strategy. “The ACLU’s extreme anti-parent amendment is so unpopular that it couldn’t even rely on grassroots support to collect signatures,” said PWO press secretary Amy Natoce. “The ACLU’s attempts to hijack Ohio’s constitution to further its own radical agenda would be pathetic if they weren’t so dangerous.”

Maryland lawmakers voted in March to send a constitutional amendment protecting abortion to voters in 2024.

“The bill in front of us provides Marylanders with the highest possible level of protection for reproductive freedom,” said Karen Nelson, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Maryland as she spoke in support of the bill. “In the simplest terms, the bill ensures the right of individuals to make and effectuate their own decisions about their own health care, abortion, birth control, and whether to end a pregnancy.”

New York
A group called New Yorkers for Equal Rights is planning to spend $20 million to persuade voters to support a constitutional amendment in favor of abortion next year. According to its website, the coalition executive committee consists of nine different organizations, including some familiar names: Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the New York Civil Liberties Union.

In Florida, abortion advocates say they have gathered two-thirds of the 900,000 signatures needed to place a constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot.

The ballot initiative is being pushed by the Floridians Protecting Freedom coalition, which is led by Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Planned Parenthood’s Florida affiliates, and the ACLU of Florida.

The coalition quickly raised $5 million in its first two months of campaigning, with records showing various Planned Parenthood entities and the ACLU contributing a bulk of those donations.

Nevada for Reproductive Freedom, a coalition spearheaded by Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice Nevada, and the ACLU of Nevada, announced last week that it is starting a petition campaign to get a pro-abortion amendment on the ballot in 2024.

Though abortion in the state is already legal through 24 weeks gestation, pro-abortion organizers want to secure the constitutional “right” to kill preborn children without limitation.

Abortion advocates are pushing for a 2024 constitutional amendment vote, but the exact language that will appear before voters is still up in the air. That’s because Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has not approved petition language he finds misleading, while abortion activists themselves can’t decide which language will best capture the votes.

The ACLU is currently representing a physician who filed the amendment language in a legal battle with Ashcroft.

“Missourians want the right to make personal decisions about their reproductive health care … free from government interference,” ACLU spokesperson Tom Bastian said in a statement to The Beacon. “Out-of-touch politicians (want) to suppress the right to vote on reproductive rights.”

Arizona’s constitutional amendment push is called Arizona for Abortion Access and, like the others, the group is led by the ACLU of Arizona, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, and NARAL Arizona.

In discussing strategy, Jodi Liggett, a senior adviser for NARAL Arizona, told The Washington Post that the success of campaigns elsewhere has the industry confident the amendment will pass.

“We know that there is support for that because candidates have organized their own political campaigns in the past on this and won, so we know that people will vote for the issue itself,” she said.

Ligget also estimated that the ballot initiative could be “a $40 [million] or $50 million project.”

Abortion: An industry money-maker
The abortion industry’s concerted effort to establish constitutional amendments in these and other states is a radical push to secure its bottom line.

This effort, and the money behind it, further dispels the lie Planned Parenthood pushed for years when it claimed abortions make up only 3% of its business model (a claim that has roundly been debunked). No industry would make such an effort and pour in so much money, time, and effort if it didn’t expect to reap huge dividends.

The direct, intentional killing of preborn children is the bread and butter of the abortion industry, which is why it’s willing to go to great lengths to secure abortion as the law of the land in every state.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action News.]

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