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Ohio Ballot Board to decide language for proposed amendments

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(The Center Square) – Language for proposed constitutional amendments that would guarantee abortion rights and legalize recreational marijuana use in Ohio could be formalized Thursday.

The Ohio Ballot Board meets Thursday afternoon with certification of both amendments on its agenda. Also up for discussion is disseminating information and advertising statewide ballot issues.

The board consists of Republicans Secretary of State Frank LaRose; Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green; William Morgan; Democrats Sen. Paula Hicks-Hudson, D-Toledo; and Rep. Elliot Forhan, D-South Euclid.

Supporters of “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety” proposed amendment have asked the board to place the entire text of the amendment on the ballot in November.

“The language we’ve submitted to the ballot board for consideration is the literal text of the amendment,” said Lauren Blauvelt, speaking on behalf of Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights. “A summary of this language has already been certified by the Ohio Attorney General as ‘fair and accurate.’ Any attempt to alter wording away from the text of the amendment should be seen for what it is: an attempt to confuse and mislead voters.”

As previously reported by The Center Square, the proposed amendment says every individual has a right to make and carry out their own reproductive decisions, including by not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility, treatment, continuing one’s pregnancy, miscarriage care and abortion.

It would prohibit abortion after “fetal viability” except to protect the mother’s life. It defines fetal viability as when a fetus has a significant likelihood of survival outside the uterus with reasonable measures.

Earlier this month, the group pushing to legalize marijuana turned in the required signatures for the proposed “Act to Control and Regulate Adult Use Cannabis.”

That amendment would legalize the growing, manufacturing and sale of marijuana for recreational use for those 21 and older. It would also add a 10% tax on the sale and limit the number of plants per person to 12.

If passed by a simple majority of voters, Ohio would become the 24th state to legalize recreational marijuana use.

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