Across the nation, voters weighed in on politically divisive ballot measures in last week’s elections. Unfortunately, many of the outcomes don’t align with biblical principles, and some “conservatives” may be to blame.
Issue 1 not only succeeded in Ohio, enshrining a “right” to abortion in the state constitution, but it also received substantial support from voters. Almost 57 percent of Ohio voters endorsed the proposal, which could potentially allow abortion up until birth for any reason. Additionally, Issue 1 abolished parental notification requirements.
Ohio has become the fourth state to establish a so-called “right” to abortion, following the United States Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision which clarified that the U.S. Constitution does not include a “right” to abortion. States with constitutional “rights” to abortion now include California, Michigan, and Vermont. Last year, California voters passed Proposition 1, which also enshrines a fabricated “right” to abortion in the state constitution with a staggering 67% of the vote.
Exit polling data from NBC News suggested broad support for Ohio’s Issue 1 across all demographics. Both men and women expressed support for Issue 1, with women showing a slightly higher margin. White, black, and Hispanic voters were all mostly in favor, with white support at 53% and nonwhite support at 79%.
Devastatingly, a significant number of Republicans voted in favor of the amendment. According to the Associated Press, Republican counties in Ohio opposed Issue 1 at a lower rate than their typical support for Republican candidates. This aligns with polling from the previous summer, revealing that 39 percent of Republican women believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
This is another setback in a series of defeats for pro-life ballot measures since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. While it wasn’t surprising when voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont supported more abortion, it was surprising when many voters in Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, and now Ohio did the same. It seems that some so-called “conservatives” have been deceived regarding the most important issue of our time. Without the right to life, none of the other rights that conservatives champion matter.
In September, California Republicans considered softening the language against abortion in their party platform by removing the line that states “life begins at conception.” While they ultimately rejected the proposal, this is reflective of Republicans’ increasing willingness to compromise on an issue concerning the life and death of innocent children.
Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Biblical worldview and strategic engagement at the Family Research Council, offers a possible cause for the lack of pro-life success.
“While we were busy convincing the world abortion is wrong, the abortion industry, in partnership with the sexual revolution, spent all its time convincing the world abortion is essential regardless of whether it is wrong. The fact is most Americans agree with the pro-life cause that abortion is not morally good. We won that argument! So why do Americans vote for abortion anyway? Because they view it as happiness insurance…Thanks to Dr. Freud, the sexual revolution has convinced Americans it is impossible to be happy if you are not having sex. Because happiness, from their perspective, comes with a risk of pregnancy, abortion serves the same purpose as a fire extinguisher.”
Backholm goes on to say that despite the undeniable logic of the pro-life stance and the persuasive appeal of its advocates, the pro-life movement is not prevailing as it should. This could be because pro-lifers have mistakenly perceived the abortion debate to be solely about abortion when, in reality, it has “predominantly been about sex.”
In the end, the truth will prevail, but in the meantime, pro-lifers may need to take a different approach. Americans need to know that hook-up culture only leaves people miserable, and babies do not need to die for adults to be happy and fulfilled. In fact, adults will only find true happiness when they recognize the immeasurable value of life and save sex for committed and healthy relationships.