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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | November 5th, 2023


    A few weeks ago, a friend asked me what I thought about the Issue One (1) initiative on the ballot for this November election. I told her I had not read the Issue, so I could not comment. She wanted my perspective so that she could know how to vote. I told her that I believe in one reading about the issue, and then when you go to the ballot, you decide. I will never tell anyone how to vote, I will provide the facts. Since that inquiry, I have read about issue 1 and was quite disturbed when I went to church this weekend, and there was a pre-recorded sermon advising parishioners not to vote for issue 1. What was annoying is that the sermon added language that was not written as the justification not to vote for the issue, and that was wrong. If you tell people to do something or not to do something, then you must be fully transparent about what is written. If I had not heard this recording, I would probably not have written this blog. I have a responsibility to make sure you understand the facts.

    I recognize that some of my readers do not live in Ohio, but I believe the lesson here is that before one vote, you must do your homework. The purpose of Issue One is to amend the current Ohio Constitution. Those who oppose Issue One want to make it all about abortions. IT IS NOT ONLY ABOUT ABORTIONS. ISSUE ONE IS ABOUT PRESERVING OUR RIGHTS AS WOMEN TO DO WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR BODIES. IT IS ABOUT OUR AUTONOMY.

    We have so much to consider in our world. Those who oppose this issue 1 do not want to deal with what is happening in our world. Why not focus on how you can solve the issue of poverty? Why not focus on healthcare access? Why not focus on how we can improve maternal mortality? When it comes to maternal mortality, we are the worst when compared to other industrialized countries. This a country where black women are 2 -3 times more likely to die than white women.

    When you vote for Issue One, you vote that the Ohio State Constitution will have the following amendment. Let no one fool you and tell you it is something else. Issue one concerns the right to reproductive freedom with protections for health and safety.

    The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety

    A. Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on:

    1. contraception;

    2. fertility treatment;

    3. continuing one’s own pregnancy;

    4. miscarriage care; and

    5. abortion.

    B. The State shall not, directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against either:

    1. An individual’s voluntary exercise of this right or

    2. A person or entity that assists an individual exercising this right, unless the State demonstrates that it is using the least restrictive means to advance the individual’s health in accordance with widely accepted and evidence-based standards of care.

    However, abortion may be prohibited after fetal viability. But in no case may such an abortion be prohibited if in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician, it is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.

    C. As used in this Section:

    1. “Fetal viability” means “the point in a pregnancy when, in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient’s treating physician, the fetus has a significant likelihood of survival outside the uterus with reasonable measures. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.”

    2. “State” includes any governmental entity and any political subdivision.

    D. This Section is self-executing.

    The tagline for this website is Keeping My Sisters Alive and Healthy. We keep ourselves alive and healthy by educating ourselves on issues so that we can be empowered to make decisions that will enhance our health. NO ONE HAS the right to take away our freedoms. Please vote on Tuesday, November 7th, wherever you are. This is one issue in one state, but I would encourage you to see what is happening in your state.  Many people gave their lives for this ability to vote. Let us honor them and vote.

    In the State of Ohio:

    If you vote Yes to Issue One (1) – You preserve women’s rights to decide on their bodies.:

    If you vote No to Issue One (1) – You give the government the ability to make decisions that will affect a woman’s body.

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