Pro-life group fails to force question on ‘personhood’ onto Ohio ballot


A pro-life group failed to collect enough signatures to add a measure to the Ohio ballot that would alter the state constitution to say human life begins as soon as an egg is fertilized.

The change in language would impact not only women’s abortion rights, but could also have implications for stem-cell research, some forms of birth control, and in-vitro fertilization.

Roe V. Wade ruled that abortion is OK up until the moment a fetus is able to live outside the womb (about 22 to 24 weeks), upholding a woman’s right to choose whether to keep or terminate a pregnancy in that time. However, that hasn’t stopped pro-life groups from trying to chip away at this right through various state-level restrictions, including the time frame in which an abortion can happen. The “personhood” movement led by the Christian group Personhood USA is one more attempt to claw back Roe V. Wade. 

Personhood has attempted to add similar amendments to ballots in states across the country, succeeding in some cases. It has yet to get voters to pass those amendments in any states, but it doesn’t look like that is discouraging its leadership.

“Wait and watch us grow. We’re like a weed,” Keith Mason, the 31-year-old founder of Personhood USA, promised in a recent interview with Newsweek.

Personhood Ohio collected only 30,000 of the 385,000 signatures needed to put the question to voters in November. 

Personhood, Reproductive Rights and Ohio

Pro-life group fails to force question on 'personhood' onto Ohio ballot