The Rundown

Former state rep, Hamilton County resident sue to keep abortion rights amendment from November ballot

By: - July 31, 2023 4:55 am

Getty Images.

A lawsuit has been filed with the Ohio Supreme Court in an attempt to block a proposed abortion rights amendment from going to voters in November.

Days after the Ohio Secretary of State verified that the campaign to get a reproductive health amendment on the ballot had collected enough valid Ohio voter signatures to be sent to voters, former Republican state Rep. Thomas Brinkman is at the top of a lawsuit to keep that from happening.

Brinkman is joined by Hamilton County resident Jennifer Giroux, a candidate for House of Representatives’ 27th district and owner of a Catholic shop in Madeira.

The main arguments in the lawsuit against Secretary of State Frank LaRose, the state and the coalition of groups who created the proposed amendment claim that the petition proposal “failed to comply with all of the statutory requirements for an initiative petition,” including listing existing laws that would be changed or removed if the constitutional amendment is approved by voters.

The proposed constitutional amendment would codify abortion in the state, and allow pregnancy decisions to be between the pregnant person and a physician, and viability to be determined by medical experts.

“Even though certain existing statutory provisions would be repealed if the proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution … is adopted, the initiative petition failed to include the text of such statutory provisions and, thus, the initiative petition violates requirements established by law and must be invalidated,” attorney Curt Hartman wrote in the lawsuit.

This is the second such lawsuit Hartman has filed regarding the abortion amendment. The first time, he sued the Ohio Ballot Board on behalf of two members of Cincinnati Right to Life, saying the board did not deliberate enough about the issue before approving the measure, opening the door for signature collection.

In that case, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled the board had not abused its discretion or disregarded law in approving the petition, and that signature collection could go forward.

On Saturday, the Ohio Supreme Court set a deadline for 4 p.m. Monday to receive the first filings in the case, and an Aug. 7 deadline for all documentation from both sides.



Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Susan Tebben
Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow (KY) Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.