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Backers Criticize Approved Ballot Language for Ohio's Fall Abortion Amendment

The term 'unborn child' is misleading versus 'fetus'

The Ohio Ballot Board approved language Thursday for a fall measure seeking to establish abortion access as a fundamental right, but one Democratic member blasted it as "rife with misleading and defective language."

Key among opponents' objections is language developed by Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, an abortion opponent, amid warnings the language could face a legal challenge even before the proposal goes before Ohio voters in November.

Among the new language, the word "fetus" in the Democrats' proposal was changed to "unborn child" in the ballot measure. The original summary language seeks to assure access to abortion through what is called viability when the fetus is able to survive outside the womb. It stated, "abortion may be prohibited after fetal viability," but not in cases where a treating physician deems the procedure necessary to protect the life or health of the pregnant person.

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