Some government experts say a constitutional amendment in Ohio could override a federal ban on partial-birth abortions.
“Partial-birth” abortion is a term for a procedure known as dilation and extraction, a federally prohibited procedure.
Meanwhile, voters in Ohio are voting on Nov. 7 on a constitutional amendment that some say would OK “partial-birth abortion.”
“For many years, in Ohio and this country, we’ve had a law that said a partial-birth abortion — where the child is partially delivered and then killed and then finally delivered — was illegal in Ohio,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said. “This constitutional amendment would override that.”
DeWine was in the U.S. Senate when the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was passed in 2003. He voted in favor of the ban, which declared a “moral, medical, and ethical consensus” that the procedure was “gruesome and inhumane.”
Meanwhile, others say federal law still overrides state laws.
“So changing our constitution will not affect in the slightest way the applicability of the federal partial-birth abortion ban,” said Dan Kobil, a law professor at Capital University in Columbus, who supports abortion rights. “It would be a federal crime for a doctor to violate that ban.”
Jonathan Entin, professor emeritus of law at Case Western State University, said: “If the federal law prohibits a particular technique, then that’s going to prevail over a state law that might be inconsistent.”
DeWine has said he worries that federal law wouldn’t apply in this case because the federal government cannot regulate conduct that does not affect interstate commerce.
According to the Associated Press, Ohio hasn’t had an abortion of any type performed after 25 weeks gestation since 2018, and only four have been recorded since 2013, according to statistics compiled by the state Health Department.
The state outlawed “partial birth abortions” in 1995.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.