Truth and Deception about Ohio’s Reproductive Rights Amendment

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American Policy Rountable

The Ohio Roundtable Challenges Legal Construction of Reproductive Decisions Amendment

History of Ohio Roundtable

Image post used on social media by American Policy Roundtable
Upper portion of the image that Doug Talks about at 08:13

Lower portion of image that Doug talks about starting at 25:56
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[0:00] Christian nationalists are pulling out all the stops to sabotage the upcoming vote on abortion rights in Ohio.
They are being obtuse, misinforming, and outright lying about the proposed amendment to fearmonger and manipulate your emotions.
A recent social media post by a group that claims it is nonpartisan is a pure example of religious bias masquerading as voter information.
I’m Doug Berger, and this is Secular Left.

[0:34] Music.

[0:41] Being that I live in Ohio, I’ve been following the reproductive rights amendment that’s gonna be considered by voters in November, this November. And of course, the Christian nationalists and other people opposed to the amendment, other conservatives opposed to the amendment have been pulling out all the stops to sabotage passage, they’ve even gone so far as to lie about it. Mischaracterize it, how, however you wanna call it. And so there’s this image that’s making the rounds on social media. It is the text copy of the actual amendment. It’s one page. That was part of the argument that they were having with the ballot board a couple of weeks ago, was that all they wanted to do was just use the actual text of the amendment as the summary.

And the Christian nationalists on the ballot board did not wanna do that. They wanna do . Inject their own religious biases into the language to feel fear monger and scare people. And one of the things that they did was a, an affiliate a like-minded conservative group called the American Policy Roundtable through their affiliate Ohio, Ohio Roundtable, or the Ohio Roundtable.

I forget if it’s the or what. Posted this image and, and basically what they did was they took a printed copy of the, the draft of the amendment and they marked it up with their own religious biases, conservative think parts about it. They were obtuse about many of the items saying this is not defined and everything like that.

So I wanted to go over some of the things that they talk about. And if this is a video version of this podcast, you’ll actually get to see as I’m talking about it. If not you know, I’ll probably post a probably post the images that I made of the, of this social media post. I’ll probably post that in the secular left nuggets.

Stack sub stack page. So go to the website. There should be a link to it in the show notes. Oh, and I’ll probably post the pictures in the show notes too. Who knows? Okay. So to begin with, I wanted to tell you about this American Policy Roundtable. It was like I said, the image and you know, if you’ve seen the image, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It was created by a group called Ohio Roundtable. It’s affiliated with American Policy Roundtable. It claims the group claims their goal is to quote, reach all people with the message of true liberty.

We believe in the Promise of America as articulated in the Declaration of Independence and established in the Constitution, built upon the consent of the governed. We endeavor to help people rediscover the principles upon which that promise stands. Sounds pretty reasonable. I might even support this group if that was in fact their goal.

So one would think that a group that its goal is to reach all people with the message of true liberty, would not be opposed to an amendment that would protect the liberty of individuals to make their own reproductive decisions. And then if we look at the group’s history, we see why they are opposed to the amendment.

The group now known as American Policy Roundtable got their start in the Cleveland area in 1980. They call themselves at the time the Northeast Ohio Roundtable. But in the mid eighties or early eighties, mid eighties, it merged with a group called Christian Life Ministries. And the surviving organization had a religious purpose and, and mission.

I mean, they actually, it says in there, In their establishing documents on the, that they sent to the state was that they were gonna teach people about Jesus and the Bible and that was their mission. And so when they merged with Christian Life Ministries, they became nor Northeast Ohio Roundtable.

And then eventually a gentleman by the name of David Zanotti, I hope I’m not pronouncing his name. Wrong joined the organization, became the president of it, and they changed the mission, the goals, and the mission of the group, and changed the name to Ohio Roundtable to a public policy education group.

So they expunged all of the religious overtones of the group. And the purposes, and it became a re what they said was a public PO policy education group. Now, there are still religious roots in this group because they have a book in their online shop that’s about Jesus. I think it’s called Jesus, his story, like if anybody’s read the Bible, you know what Jesus’ story is.

They also host a program called Christmas in America each year. I believe it’s each year, I’ve never heard it. So where they celebrate Christmas in America, and I think the subtitle is in the Public Square. They have, they have a, a podcast and a radio show called The Public Square. All right? And they even hosted a god delusion debate that included Dr.

Richard Dawkins. Another professor from Oxford who obviously opposed Dawkins, take on God. So there’s some religious things. I, I did some other checking of some of the personnel involved and, and the medical advisor of this group his name escapes me right now is pretty heavily involved in Evangelical Christian stuff.

He’s an internist. He spoke about Covid. I haven’t gone into that stuff ’cause I really don’t. But American Policy Roundtable claims to be nonpartisan, which seems to be true. There aren’t any overt Republican or Democrat labels. I. You know, they don’t have a picture of Trump or stuff like that, but the group does have a conservative religious take on political issues that tend to bleed into morality territory, what people think is morality, like abortion.

The other big thing that this group fought against was gambling back when Ohio, when there were several attempts to get an amendment added to the Ohio Constitution to allow gambling in the state. Three or four times. And this group led the charge against it. They also support school choice, which means vouchers.

They were opposed to state issue one from August that would’ve raised the voting threshold for constitutional amendments to 60%. And that was actually . A good thing, but, but it’s for self-serving reasons, because if they make it harder to get amendments on the, on the ballot, then it’ll be hard for them to get an amendment on the ballot if they ever wanna do that.

You know, that was the thing that a lot of these, these groups didn’t think about when they were supporting this, that amendment back in August. All right, so that’s American Policy Roundtable. They’re a little bit religious, not as much as they used to be. But there’s a lot in here. , a lot of religious bigotry in here.

[08:13] Okay, so what I did was I took this picture, this image of this document, and divided it up into a section A and a section B. Section A I’m gonna talk about there’s several points that I wanna make. Then we’ll go to section B. All right, then I’ll explain everything. So, if we start out with section A at the top they write in there the word woman, and then quotation marks doesn’t appear in the entire amendment.

And that’s true. The word woman does not appear. And that’s because women aren’t the only people who have uterus. If you need that explained, then that’s why this amendment is needed. Most definitely. And that was one of the contentions with the ballot board, was that they changed pregnant individual to woman or pregnant woman or whatever it was, because they wanted to dismiss trans people.

The second thing that they wrote in was they noted that article one of the Ohio Constitution is the Bill of Rights. That is also correct. If you look at the Ohio Constitution, article one is a list of rights, just like the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution, but that’s the only part they get right.

The amendment would add reproductive freedom to the list in the Ohio Constitution. That list also includes a freedom to make your own decisions about healthcare. And then there’s a bit from section seven. It says, no person shall be compelled to attend erect or support any place of worship or maintain any form of worship against his consent.

And no preference shall be given by law to any religious society, nor shall any interference with the rights of conscious be permitted. That is more complete freedom of religion than the US Constitution. And I believe that reproductive rights is part of your conscious, conscious decisions. And so there shouldn’t be anybody interfering on that.

We should not have vouchers going to parochial schools. That is funding a religious society with tax dollars. But yeah, they ignore that part anyway. So then we go to the next thing that they, they write about in, in the picture where it’s in parentheses where it says mostly for abortion providers.

When it has the title the amendment is to protect the right of every individual to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions. Like most green text in that image, the group is adding their own fever dreams to the amendment. You know, they’re, they’re going with the worst case scenario, the paranoid scenario, the worst case.

Okay? And this amendment does not address . Rights of abortion providers, it only addresses the right of the individual to make their own decisions. Who can be opposed to that? This group, the American Policy Roundtable, the other thing that they point out is they want to point out to who’s ever looking at this thing that the There are no limits.

It says without limits. Then that there be gender selection, abortions, harvesting, body parts, chemical castration. I didn’t even know that that was possible to do in utero, maybe trans surgeries on minors. No. No. It’s a wonder they didn’t add forcing children to be drag queens, since that’s a thing nowadays about drag queens to their list of hyperbole.

The truth is the amendment is limited to quote one’s own reproductive decisions, unquote. So those items they list, including those noted about minors aren’t part of the amendment, minors aren’t legally able to make their own decisions about much of their healthcare. Parents still have to consent.

Unless the minor gets a court order, allowing them to make all their own decisions, and that’s called emancipation. And that can happen if the, the parents are abusive, it’s an abusive household or somebody is 16, 17 years old and they’ve just had enough and they want to go out on their own, they can go to court and be emancipated.

It’s a process. It’s available to, to everybody.

The amendment doesn’t change the fact that parents’ consent is required for most medical decisions for minors. Like most of the group’s understanding, they, they are being obtuse on purpose about, about these things.

Okay. And then we come to, in the image the red text, if you see anything that’s in red text that’s generally just false. They’re lying. They’re making the stuff up, and it’s red text because it’s, they want to fear monger, they wanna manipulate you, they want to manipulate your feelings about this amendment.

So they do this red text, so like the, they put in no parental consent for minors. Cloning again, the amendment doesn’t change. Parentals consent law and why they singled out cloning is again, the group piling on their own ridiculousness to see what sticks, like the fear-mongering or parental rights. You should see section 2151.85 in the Ohio revised code.

It talks about unmarried, unemancipated minors may seek abortion without notice to parent, guardian or custodian, and it’s in the, it’s a law. There’s a process that a unmarried unemancipated minor can seek an abortion without notice to parents, but they have to go to court. They have to get an advocate.

They have to prove why having parental consent would be detrimental to their health or detrimental to their mental health. To get that consent. So it’s already in the law that you can get an abortion without parental consent. It’s just an extra step. And this amendment doesn’t necessarily change that?

Not yet. You know, because it’s a totally separate issue whether or not a minor can get an abortion as totally different than as somebody who’s of age can get an abortion. And this amendment protects people who are of age. That in general can make their own healthcare decisions, allow them to make reproductive choices like they should be able to.

And then there’s some green text that’s written in there about giving rights to the individual. It says, does this write, planned Parenthood into the Constitution? The short answer is no. It does not. It doesn’t address any, any providers. It doesn’t talk about any providers. in Planned Parenthood, that is not their main job providing abortions.

They do all, they do comprehensive women’s health. Anyway, it says the amendment prevents the state from trying to block reproductive decisions by doing things like we saw some years ago, defunding Planned Parenthood, where they couldn’t, where they took away any state money that they may have received in the past for health services.

Or enacting what’s called targeted regulations. They’re also called trap laws. And they’re laws that that single out the medical practices of doctors who provide abortions and impose on them requirements that are different and more burdensome than those imposed on other medical practices. And when people ask me about these trap laws, I, I tell ’em there’s a, a, for example, in Ohio, Currently under current law, abortion clinics are required to have a transfer agreement with a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic in case there are complications during the abortion procedure.

I. Now anybody who’s familiar with abortions and medical procedures in general know that if you are doing medical procedures in a at an outpatient basis, which means you’re not in a hospital, you’re at a clinic like a health clinic or an abortion clinic, it is common practice and ethical practice to transfer patients who have complications to a hospital.

You don’t need a transfer agreement to do that. It is just automatic, you know, if they’re above board ethical clinic, they will transfer patients who have maybe excessive bleeding or, or have a reaction to medication. In fact, I have a personal example of this. I went to an urgent care center because I had back pain, really bad back pain.

I didn’t know what it was, and the physician’s assistant that treated me pressed on where that pain was, and the pain was so bad that I almost passed out. So they called an ambulance and they transported me to the hospital because they didn’t, they weren’t equipped to deal to treat me ’cause they didn’t know what was going on. And here I come to find out that I have a very low intense pain tolerance, that if it’s intense pain I will pass out.

I didn’t know that before, you know, so. When you go to an urgent care or an abortion clinic, or if you go to an orthopedic doctor’s office and they’re treating you and you have a bad reaction or a complication, they will call the first responders and get you to a hospital. That’s just . That’s that.

They’re required to do that. They’re required to treat you like that. So this whole smoke and mirrors about transfer agreements is just a targeted regulation to put a burden on an abortion clinic to force them to close. And this, this, this is what Ohio did. There’s like 20 some odd trap laws that they put in the budget.

So it couldn’t be repealed by referendum, you know, items added to a budget. Ohio can’t be put on a ballot to be repealed like an amendment can. An amendment can general law can, but if they put it in the budget, you can’t touch it. So they did like 20 some out of the these, you know, and so then the kicker was that these clinics had to have a transfer agreement, but then in another part of the budget, They dictated that public hospitals in Ohio that received state funding could not enter into these transfer agreements.

Aha. You know, that’s the catch 22 from the old classic movies. So I. And, and the, and they added it wasn’t initially 30 miles within the clinic, but what happened was that the clinic here in my neck of the woods contracted with the University of Michigan in Arbor Ann Arbor’s Hospital, which is about 45 miles away.

And the Ohio State legislators, the Christian nationalists were pissed off. And so then they put in the budget that it had to be within 30 miles. So they couldn’t use that. Luckily here in Toledo, they were able to convince ProMedica to enter into an agreement because they’re pri, they’re a for-profit private hospital anyway.

So that’s about trap laws and this amendment will take care of that. Local governments also like to force undesirable businesses into undesirable parts of town. Using zoning laws, you know, they forced businesses, like adult bookstores, for example, to only be able to operate in an area that is less likely to be seen by the general public, like an industrial area.

Like you’ll, you’ll go to one part of town where they have a bunch of factories, and then there’ll be this adult bookstore or a liquor store, whatev whatever store is undesirable, cannabis store, whatever. They don’t want. To do. They don’t want in their town, they’ll, they’ll do that. My hometown Findlay, which is south of Toledo, about 45 miles south of Toledo for many, many decades, has had an adult bookstore on Trenton Avenue, which is a main drag.

It’s US 224. So it gets a lot of drive traffic through. For decades, they’ve tried to close that place down. They even have on their law books now, that if you want to open a new adult bookstore, you can’t do it on a major street. You have to go to an undesirable part of town, depending on what the zoning regulation is.

So, but this amendment, here in Ohio would do away with that type of discrimination against abortion clinics. Local governments couldn’t do that anymore. Another thing that they note, it says, includes group slash activists in schools instructing minors on sexual practices.

Eh, that could be true, that they could bring in a, a a group to teach kids about sex education. That’s always possible. . But, but again, this is fearmongering using loaded words to manipulate people. Sex education is important for minors. If you wanna reduce abortions, one great way to do that is not to close the clinics or take away the rights of people to have abortions.

It’s to have good, balanced, age appropriate sex education classes in school. You know, if you teach people about it. They’ll be more informed and there’ll be less likely to have unplanned pregnancies, less likely. People who oppose this reproductive rights amendment, they don’t want that either, and they’re against a, and they’re against birth control too.

So it’s not just they wanna take rights away from women to end their pregnancies, but they also wanna take away the rights of married couples and single people to have birth control or to learn about sex education in school.

Then there’s another note here on the picture. It says when they’re talking about getting abortions, it says Throughout all nine months, It notes any age, including minors, not gender specific.

And then there’s other black texts highlighted in yellow. This is more of the anti-abortionists being obtuse. They’re pretending they don’t know the differences. They don’t know things. Now, the amendment is very specific about abortion being used when the doctor believes that it’s best for the health and safety of the mother.

If the time to end a pregnancy is after 22 weeks, when the medical consensus is the fetus is viable, then the fetus will be delivered and become a baby. They don’t abort viable fetuses. They never abort viable fetuses, never. That’s unethical for the doctors. It’s not, it’s not standard practice. The only rare time that that won’t happen is if the fetus will be stillborn, or there is such a serious complication, so severe that they can’t deliver the baby and protect the health and safety of the mother.

Again, in those rare occasions, the doctor and patient. Or if the patient isn’t conscious, a family member, like a husband or, or parents or somebody like that, we’ll make that decision. The amendment also says the state could regulate those decisions at viability and beyond using least restrictive means, which means using actual medical evidence-based reasons.

Not deferring to a legislature’s religious biases. Okay,

[25:56] so that is that first part, letter A, where the letter A is on the picture. Now I’ll go to the bottom of the pictures. Letter B,

they note that there are several undefined terms that actually have definitions. They have several words underlined in red and red text added like undefined or subjective judgment. And that’s just simply not true. Evidence-based standards of care are a thing used in all hospitals and clinics. And then I’ll quote from a Source that I got, and I’ll probably put the source in the show notes.

It says, this approach mandates that new information gleaned from randomized controlled trials and consolidated into clinical practice. Guidelines can and must be used to improve the quality of care that patients receive. That’s what it means. That’s what evidence-based standards of care mean. It has a definition.

And then they also complain about widely accepted saying it’s undefined, and it says it’s the medical widely accepted means it’s the medical consensus that is, most medical people agree on such and such, whatever it is, and many professional medical associations that adhere to the scientific method support certain standards of care, supported by evidence, not religious biases, not aspirations, and

not, and I’m not sure too why they make a note about mental health. I don’t know why they’re dismissing a mother’s mental health.

That wouldn’t be, you know, most doctors would not do that. There’d have to be a medical reason.

But that doesn’t happen very often. So they’re dismissing mental health. They’re trying to make it a boogeyman. Okay. Oh, I don’t feel like having a baby. I think I’ll get a, an abortion. I’m so depressed now. See, that doesn’t happen. Usually they try to treat the mental health issue while the person is still pregnant.

And believe it or not, some pregnant individuals have mental health issues that come up while they’re pregnant. Postpartum depression happens after you give birth. Things like that. So those things are real things that need to be treated.

And I doubt many ethical doctors would use mental health alone to advise an abortion. There’d have to be other things. I mean, they would really try to get over the mental health issue before they, before they aborted the baby.

And then there’s another point that they make on their picture. It says, the abortionist is now protected by the constitution regardless of the outcome of aborting a fully viable human child. Wow. There’s a lot to unpack on that one. Notice how they keep calling doctors who perform abortions, abortionists.

That’s a di dismissive term, trying to make it out to be a boogeyman or another person. It’s almost like calling a Muslim person an a radical Muslim or calling a liberal a radical liberal. You know, it’s an, an attempt to manipulate your emotions about that they talk about being non-partisan, which some people take this mean neutral. This image is not neutral.

A fully viable fetus would not be aborted. Okay? It would be delivered as a baby, one way or the other, either or, either through the vagina or as a C-section. ’cause that’s what doctors do if it’s fully viable and, and viability means. Huh. Believe it or not, viability means that the baby is more likely to be able to live outside the womb.

You know, you want a full term baby, which is 40 weeks. I’m sorry. Some people might correct me on that. I’m not sure I get talking about viability so much. I forget what the full term is, but currently the minimum weeks . For viability by medical consensus is 22 weeks. Back when Roe v Wade was passed in 1973, the medical consensus at the time and the technology that was available put the weeks of viability at 28 weeks.

So as we progress medically and medical technology, we’re able to . Have these premature births live longer, so that’s why they talk about viability, you know, because if it can live outside the womb, then it’s gonna be a baby, and they should do whatever they can to protect that baby once it’s out of the uterus.


Again, even if a woman goes to an abortion clinic at 22 weeks or more, unless there is something medically wrong where the doctor has to decide to take the fetus to save the life of the mother, at this point it would be delivered and probably transferred to a a neonatal unit at a hospital.

The only time it would be an abortion would be if the fetus was stillborn. Needed to be removed from the uterus using surgical abortion methods, and that could also happen at a hospital. It has happened at hospitals when pregnant women are brought in for some se, like a car accident or something like that, that maybe caused the death of her fetus.

Also, remember that 99% of pregnant individuals who get to that point of viability, they want to have the baby. Studies after study, after study, after study has shown that, that women that get to that period after viability want to keep the baby. They want to have the child, they want to give birth. You know, they’re, they have it set in their minds.

They’re gonna be mothers and they want to do everything they can to bring that child into the world.

Any abortions at the point of viability and beyond are extremely, we extremely rare. Something like less than 1%, less than that. So those are the major points of that image that I wanted to point out and explain to you why , why most of it is false. It’s manipulation, it’s being obtuse, it’s . Propaganda, it’s political propaganda from a group that claims to be non-partisan.

And so you have to watch out for these things for this election year. And so, you know, I’m open to any comments, concerns, or questions, just let us know. Either comment on the show notes or if you’re listening to this on a podcast app that allows reviews, review the show, let us know how we’re doing and take care.

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