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Pastors call on Ohioans to attend upcoming Embrace Life events, pass ballot initiative August 8

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(The Center Square) – A group of pastors and a former congressman are encouraging Ohioans to attend Embrace Life events beginning Monday in four cities. They are also urging them to vote in two upcoming elections on ballot initiatives designed to amend the state constitution.

“A crucial battle is raging for the lives of unborn children across the state of Ohio,” Faith Wins, the nonprofit organizing the multi-city event, said in a statement. “Abortion activists are proposing a far-reaching ballot initiative for the November 7th election to amend the Ohio constitution to codify abortion and threaten parental rights.

“A special election on August 8th has been called to raise the threshold to amend the Ohio constitution by ballot initiative from fifty percent up to sixty percent (Issue 1). It is essential that people of faith throughout Ohio find their voice and vote yes on Issue 1 on August 8 as well as defeat the proposed November 7th ballot initiative.”

Faith Wins is hosting free events with former U.S. Rep. Bob McEwen, R-Ohio, and other leaders to “educate, encourage and empower people of faith to stand up and embrace life in the upcoming elections.”

Events begin Monday at Grace Baptist Church in Kettering and continue on Tuesday at Maineville Baptist Church and at Capitol City Baptist Church and Faith Stadium in Columbus. On Wednesday, events will be held at Heritage Baptist Church in Willoughby and The Church in Maumee.

In a special election held on August 8, voters will approve or reject the first of two ballot initiatives this year designed to amend the state constitution. The first initiative is Issue 1, which proposes raising the threshold from 50% to 60% for a constitutional amendment by ballot initiative to pass. Opponents argue Issue 1 is “an assault on the constitution.” Supporters argue special interest groups outside of Ohio are currently buying constitutional amendments because the threshold is so low. Raising the threshold is one way to make it harder for special interests to alter the constitution, they argue.

Ohio is one of 38 states that only requires a simple majority for such an initiative to pass. If it passes, Ohio would be the 12th state to require more than a simple majority for a constitutional amendment to pass, according to Ballotpedia.

On Nov. 7, voters will approve or reject a second constitutional amendment to “constitutionally protect reproductive rights and abortion access.” It was proposed by Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom and Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights. It would amend the state Constitution “to explicitly affirm Ohioans’ fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which includes making and carrying out your own decisions about abortion, contraception, miscarriage care, prenatal care, childbirth, and other reproductive healthcare services,” Professor Jessie Hill, who’s worked with ORF and the ACLU of Ohio, said.

Carrie Campbell Severino, president of JCN, argues the opposite. If it passes, the constitutional amendment would “outlaw virtually any restrictions on abortion and all other procedures, including sex-change surgeries, that touch on reproduction, for both adults and minors. It would cancel out not only parental-consent laws but also mere parental notification for minors’ abortions or sex-change surgeries; strike down health protections for people of all ages who undergo these procedures, including requirements that a qualified physician perform them; and erase any meaningful limits on late-term abortions,” she wrote in an op-ed published by National Review.

Chad Connelly, the head of Faith Wins who’ll be in Ohio with Kagin and other pastors, told The Center Square, “More and more pastors and faith leaders are awakening to the absolute necessity of engaging today’s culture and especially so in the pro-life arena. Although young people are leading the charge to this pro-life generation, and technology allows us to see ‘that’s a baby!’ Far too many in the press and among elites in both parties want to ignore this issue. In Ohio, Faith Wins wants to make sure that churches and pastors all over the state understand that a Yes vote on Issue 1 will make a national statement that our nation with the Dobbs decision, and Ohio with Issue 1, prove this is THE PRO-LIFE generation.”

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