Letter to the Editor in purple lettering on envelope

You may recall the ancient Greek story of how Zeus, king of the gods, gave the curious Pandora a box with one instruction: “Never open it.” She surrendered to curiosity, opened the box and released a multitude of evils upon the earth.

Zeus reportedly did this because he expected the power of curiosity to win, unleashing punishment upon earth. I pray that Ohioans will not succumb to the deceptive ads of abortion rights advocates who promise “freedom” to their Pandoran voters through Issue 1.

In August, Ohio voters unlocked the box by allowing changes to the state constitution to be enacted by a simple majority vote. For the U.S. Constitution and in most other states it requires a significant process and large majority to change “the law of the land.”

So then, if Issue 1 is passed by a simple majority of voters, Ohio citizens and lawmakers will be unable to pass any law to regulate a newly created right to “Reproductive Freedom.” Any current laws protecting babies, women and minors regarding abortion will be deleted.

This is the basic ballot issue: “Article I, Section 22. The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety.

“A. Every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to decisions on: 1. contraception; 2. fertility treatment; 3. continuing one’s own pregnancy; 4. miscarriage care; and 5. Abortion.

“B. The State shall not, directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against either: 1. An individual’s voluntary exercise of this right or 2. A person or entity that assists an individual exercising this right, unless the State demonstrates that it is using the least restrictive means to advance the individual’s health in accordance with widely accepted and evidence-based standards of care.”

Let’s unpack this box.

Of course, both sides agree it opens the door wide to abortion for anyone, anytime, for any reason with no person (including a parent) allowed to interfere.

“Reproductive Freedom” is granted to every individual regardless of gender, mental state, age, citizenship, or criminal record. My guess is that “Reproductive Freedom” is the latest euphemism given to “free sex” or any sexual activity or medical procedure a person chooses for themselves.

The issue is so vague that it allows no limits to sexual choices and abortions, except for a rare chance of “fetal viability” outside the womb based only upon a physician’s judgment.

The evils flying out of this box are beyond imagination, “including but not limited to” parents stripped of authority over their children, gender changes, sex with children and animals, abortion clinics operating without any state interference for health or safety, and who knows what creative crimes that might occur when a person’s “Reproductive Freedom” runs amok.

This might sound far-fetched, but the genius of creating a new “right” in the constitution is that it can be interpreted a multitude of ways and no law can be passed to limit it.

Remember 50 years ago when abortion was suddenly legalized everywhere when a woman’s “right to privacy” was created?

Every state was in chaos as laws had to be changed. Only recently did enough justices have enough sense to admit, “Wait. There’s no such thing as a right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution!”

Are we going to allow Ohio to insert a new, poorly-defined right into its constitution, unleashing years of harsh legal and personal battles? I think Pandora and I agree – “Don’t open that box!”

Steve Parsons

Mansfield, Ohio