Ohioans know what they voted for last November. Yost’s legal battle does not change that. • Ohio Capital Journal

Ohioans know what they voted for last November.  Yost’s legal battle does not change that.  • Ohio Capital Journal

It was clear what Ohio voters approved of Issue 1 last November. An overwhelming majority of Ohioans voted to reset abortion rights after a brutal government assault on reproductive freedoms under the state’s patriarchal theocratic rule.

The consensus of 57% of voters was to enshrine the fundamental right to abortion in the Ohio Constitution.

Issue 1 also explicitly prohibited the state from directly or indirectly taxing, prohibiting, penalizing, or impeding access to abortion, and from discriminating against abortion patients and providers.

It is right there in the voting language of the voters who said yes to the constitutional amendment in November. But now Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who released a legal analysis that largely contradicted Issue 1 before it was approved by voters, claims that Ohioans did not vote for what they did.

For months, Yost has done his utmost to legally obstruct the implementation of the recently amended state constitution by upholding the legitimacy of pre-Issue 1 burdensome and discriminatory abortion restrictions that clearly violate the letter of the post-Issue 1 law.

He is slowly pursuing every constitutional challenge to every Republican statute still on the books that disrupts access to abortion by placing unnecessary government barriers between a woman and her right to an abortion.

Yost had the audacity to claim that Ohio voters did not pass Issue 1 to block unnecessary government-imposed delays before allowing patients to have abortions, or to remove government-mandated information (which is at best irrelevant and at worst disturbing) to eliminate before receiving care.

Yes. She. Did.

Yost cannot pick and choose à la carte which provision of the voter-mandated abortion rights amendment applies to unconstitutional restrictions that remain in the Ohio Revised Code.

But that’s what he’s trying to do with courtroom arguments to keep burdensome and discriminatory state abortion restrictions in place indefinitely, including the 24-hour waiting period for abortion patients — a medically unfounded government mandate that doesn’t apply to any other medical procedure – plus separate, in-person visits so that patients can be educated in the required anti-choice materials intended to discourage abortions.

Yost and his fellow Republican theocrats like to point out that childish Ohioans who voted for Number 1 didn’t fully understand what they were doing. The naive majority who voted for the amendment simply did not understand what it meant for the common sense abortion rules that Republican men had imposed on Ohio women.

Court filings from Yost’s office show that gullible citizens believed a vote for No. 1 would give women the same abortion rights as under Roe v. Wade. It doesn’t matter what the language added to the Ohio Constitution (and read by the voters of Issue 1) actually said.

Yost analyzed that text at length last year before the November election in a disingenuous critique that was ripped by a former Ohio AG and AG candidate as “a biased hit piece designed to confuse voters and weaken support for the amendment.” ”

Yost concluded that all state abortion laws, such as the 24-hour waiting period and state-mandated “informed consent” provisions, would likely be struck down if the amendment were to pass. They “certainly would be challenged under Issue 1” and subject to the court’s “exclusive test of review” to determine whether or not they “burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against” the right to abortion, Yost reasoned.

The problem is, his colleagues countered, “no such standard of review exists in law – Yost created it out of hand to support his arguments.”

Yost was, Marc Dann and Jeff Crossman wrote, “intentionally misleading” with “hyperbolic claims and scare tactics.”

He also revealed his allegiance to partisan extremism because of the public interest in telling the truth.

Today, Yost makes his own textual interpretation of the changes Ohioans are mandating in the state’s abortion laws, boldly expanding on what voters were thinking when they enshrined the right “to make and exercise one’s own reproductive decisions” in their constitution . It is clear that he neither respects the will of the people nor recognizes their sovereignty in self-government.

Yost, always the media hound, wants to attract attention as a courtroom fighter for the far right. To that end, he will fight Ohio’s constitutionally protected abortion rights with lengthy lawsuits and frivolous calls to undermine the law’s implementation with whatever legal tool he has at his disposal to keep Ohio women subjugated as second-class citizens.

Yost is fixated on generating headlines and getting on TV. That’s why he’s filing partisan lawsuits with other Republican AGs to exploit MAGA wedge issues, especially regarding transgender equality, and filing a slew of Trump-loving, regulation-hating amicus briefs in the Supreme Court.

Ohio’s chief law enforcement officer is dismissing Trump’s 88 felonies in four jurisdictions on charges ranging from “pervasive and destabilizing lies” about election fraud to illegally hoarding classified documents and falsifying corporate records in a hush-money coverup to win the 2016 election . Yost appears to be guided by a selective application of the law when it comes to his party’s accused criminal and presumptive presidential candidate.

But the Ohio AG is deluded if he thinks Ohioans are willing to allow the same selectivity when it comes to their hard-won constitutional right to reproductive freedom. They know what they voted for, and so does Yost.