Ohio’s attorney general has rejected the wording of an amendment that seeks to define a human being from the moment of conception. Attorney General Mike DeWine told Personhood Ohio that the group must rework the wording of its amendment before it can be approved.
Similar fetal personhood amendments have cropped up across the country — most notably in Mississippi, where support for Amendment 26 is strong.
Though supporters say the amendments just seek to ban abortion, critics of Personhood amendments argue that the legislation could have unintended consequences such as banning birth control and negatively affecting in vitro fertilization.
According to the Personhood Ohio petition (.pdf), however, the proposed law would not:
1. Affect genuine contraception that acts solely by preventing the creation of a new human being;
2. Affect human “eggs” or oocytes prior to the beginning of the life of a new human being;
3. Affect reproductive technology or IVF procedures that respect the right to life of newly created human beings.
DeWine said Monday that those three items either need to be included in the amendment, or removed.
He said Monday the summary lists three items the amendment would not affect. He said the group Personhood Ohio should either remove the items or place them in the amendment.
The group has to submit its summary of the amendment for approval, along with 1,000 valid signatures from Ohio voters.
Personhood Ohio must rework its wording and resubmit another 1,000 signatures before it could collect additional signatures. It needs about 385,000 valid signatures to get the issue on 2012 ballots.
A Personhood initiative never made it to Florida’s ballot last year due to a lack of signatures and a lack of support from pro-life legislators.