A proposed amendment that would enshrine abortion rights in Ohio’s constitution is being decried as an attack on parental rights by prominent pro-life groups.

The amendment, which was drafted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, declares that “every individual has the right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions” on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care and abortion.

A coalition of pro-abortion groups submitted the required number of signatures Wednesday to get the amendment on the ballot in November. State officials must now review the signatures for potential errors before voters can decide on it.

“This amendment is dangerous for the women and children of Ohio,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said in a statement. “It removes parents from some of their minor children’s most important health decisions such as parental notification before an abortion. It would eliminate basic health and safety standards for women. And it would permit late term abortion after the baby can feel pain and even right up until birth.” 

A girl holds a sign outside a school board meeting on gender issues, June 20, 2023, in Glendale, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)

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“This amendment is too extreme for Ohio,” said Logan Church, director of CatholicVote Ohio. “As part of its unrelenting attack on parents, the ACLU’s proposed amendment seeks to cut parents out of their child’s most important and life-altering health decisions – including abortions and sex change operations.”

“On top of that, the amendment would nullify existing and future health and safety protection for women and permit abortions in Ohio through all nine months of pregnancy, well after the point at which the unborn child can feel pain,” Church added.

Anti-abortion activists

Activists participate in a Celebrate Life Day rally at the Lincoln Memorial on June 24, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The amendment doesn’t mention sex-change operations, but critics argue that its “loosely defined” language, which prohibits any law that “directly or indirectly” would “burden” or interfere” with “reproductive decisions,” would leave parents out of the conversation if their child chooses to pursue an abortion or sex change surgery. 

Protect Women Ohio (PWO), which is leading the fight against the amendment, points to comments made in February by Jessie Hill, an attorney for the ACLU of Ohio, who told local media that conflicting laws “should not be enforced,” as evidence of the organization’s offensive position regarding parental rights.  

“When you pass a constitutional amendment, it doesn’t just automatically erase everything and start over,” Hill said. “But it would mean that laws that conflict with it cannot be enforced, should not be enforced.”

Abortion protestors stand with signs during daytime in Dayton, Ohio

Protesters hold placards at a pro-choice rally in Dayton, Ohio, on May 14, 2023. (Whitney Saleski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

PWO spokesperson Amy Natoce accused the ACLU and pro-abortion groups of deceptively collecting the signatures needed to get on the ballot.

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“The ACLU’s extreme anti-parent amendment is so unpopular that they couldn’t even rely on grassroots support to collect signatures,” Natoce said. “The ACLU paid out-of-state signature collectors to lie to Ohioans about their dangerous amendment that will strip parents of their rights, permit minors to undergo sex change operations without their parents’ knowledge or consent, and allow painful abortion on demand through all nine months. The ACLU’s attempts to hijack Ohio’s constitution to further its own radical agenda would be pathetic if it wasn’t so dangerous.” 

ACLU Ohio did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Fox News’ Kendall Tietz contributed to this report.

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