Ohio Ballot Proposal That Would Have Prosecuted Abortion as Murder Rejected for Insufficient Signatures

Photo Credit: Angie Draiville
Photo Credit: Angie Draiville

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A proposal to amend the Ohio Constitution and classify the performance of an abortion as an act of aggravated murder was rejected on Monday by the state attorney general for failing to meet the required minimum of valid signatures from registered voters.

Ohio law requires that petitioners submit at least 1,000 signatures for any measure to advance as a ballot proposal, but Attorney General Mike DeWine said that the pro-life petition only had 842 signatures that could be considered valid.

“Because your submission did not contain the verified signatures of at least one thousand qualified electors, we must reject it,” DeWine wrote to petitioners Laura Burton of Cleveland, Anthony Dipane of Monroe Falls, and Dustin Paulson of Strasburg on Monday.

“Because you failed to meet the signature threshold, I have not made any determination concerning the fairness and truthfulness of your proposed summary,” he said.

As previously reported, the ballot proposal would have amended the Ohio Constitution to prosecute abortion as aggravated murder.

“No person shall perform, procure or attempt to perform an abortion,” the text read. “Whoever violates this section is guilty of aggravated murder and shall be punished in accordance with the penalties for that crime …”

It noted that the measure would not apply to contraception, unfertilized eggs or IVF procedures.

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The petitioners, who are not connected with any organized pro-life groups, said they decided to pursue a ballot proposal as they saw an opportunity that have never been put forward.

“We saw that since Roe v. Wade no one had proposed a ballot issue saying you can’t murder babies,” Dipane explained to the Columbus Dispatch.

The three used fellow volunteers to help collect petition signatures as required.

But although officials said that some of the signatures couldn’t be counted as valid, Burton, Dipane and Paulson plan to press forward.

“‘Quit’ is not in our vocabulary,” Dipane told reporters following the report.

As previously reported, Oklahoma Sen. Joe Silk, R-Broken Bow, introduced a bill earlier this year that would have added killing an unborn child to existing murder statutes.

“No person shall perform or induce or attempt to perform or induce an abortion after conception,” it read. “A person commits murder in the first degree when that person performs an abortion as defined by Section 1-745.5 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes.”

The measure passed the Health and Human Services Committee, but was then stalled by Republican leadership who opined that the move was too “extreme.”

“I’ve had other senators come up and say this goes too far, and I say, ‘Do you think life begins at conception?’ and they say, ‘Absolutely.’ So, if you believe life begins at conception then it’s not too far,” Silk told reporters.

A separate bill introduced by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, that would revoke the medical license of any physician who performs an abortion, passed both houses, but was vetoed by Gov. Mary Fallin.

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  • robertzaccour

    So they couldn’t find 1,000 pro-life people in Ohio? Seriously?

    • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      It probably wasn’t advertised well enough.

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      My pro-life email list is longer than that.

      You are correct – this was poorly organized.

  • james blue

    Personhood ballots fail even in the reddest of red states and this wouldn’t fare much better, probably do worse. The problem with ballot measures like this is that only a small percentage think abortion should be illegal under all circumstances and that number doesn’t rise by much even when it;s only allowed to save the life of the mother.

    • Amos Moses

      Speaks to just how fallen this country is …….

  • Robert

    They could have gone to large denominational churches known for pro life stances and would have way more valid signatures than needed.. large missouri synod lutheran and wels lutheran and southern baptist churchs if they went there they would have had way more than needed

  • Tangent002

    “‘Quit’ is not in our vocabulary,” Dipane told reporters following the report.

    Apparently, neither is ‘due diligence’.

  • Amos Moses

    youtu;be/0OSEmkP7Ug8 – Replace the ; with a .

  • Every year. Do it again. And again. And again.

    • Tangent002

      You understand what one defintion of insanity is, right?

      • You understand that confusing the internet and the dictionary is another, right?

        • Tangent002

          Do you really think you’re going to ‘wear down’ anyone?

          • Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. You’re a bunny, I’m a man. I get to sharpen your face.

          • Tangent002

            Threats are boring.

          • No, little furry friend! It’s not a threat! It’s just that you’re not so sharp!

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      Excellent idea – it worked for Wilberforce to end the slave trade – took him 20 years, but it worked!

  • Rick Derris

    They couldn’t even get 1,000 people in Ohio to believe that putting a completely unconstitutional and unenforceable amendment to the State’s Constitution would be anything less than a complete waste of time. LOL!