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Advocating for Pro-Life: Biden to Appear in Ad During Ohio State-Notre Dame Game

A pro-life ad against an Ohio abortion-rights ballot measure features an unlikely advocate: President Biden. The ad, “Join Them,” shows then-Sen. Joe Biden confirming in a television interview that he supported banning partial-birth or late-term abortion, saying, “I did and I do.”

“Late-term abortions were too much for Biden,” says the narrator on the 30-second commercial sponsored by the pro-life group Protect Ohio Women.

The ad, which is slated to run Saturday during the Ohio State-Notre Dame football game, then swings to former President Donald Trump speaking out against late-term abortions.

“Republicans and Democrats oppose the late-term abortions allowed under Issue 1. Join them. Vote no on Issue 1,” says the narrator.

Ohio Issue 1, which goes before the voters in November, would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution, including post-viability abortion if the treating physician agrees “it is necessary to protect the pregnant patient’s life or health.”

“The practice of late-term abortion is so barbaric that Republicans and Democrats agree it should be banned,” said Molly Smith, Protect Women Ohio board member. “The groups behind Issue 1, including the ACLU, clearly missed the memo: abortion-on-demand up until birth is too extreme for Ohioans. Period.”

The six-figure ad buy offered a reminder of Mr. Biden’s changing views on abortion. As president, he has called for eliminating restrictions on elective pregnancy termination, but in the Senate he voted in favor of bills banning partial-birth abortion in 1995 and 1999.

In 2003, Congress passed a ban on partial-birth, or dilation and excavation, a procedure used to end pregnancies after the first trimester. Mr. Biden did not vote on the bill itself but voted in favor of the conference report.

Pro-choice advocates argue that “late-term abortion” is an invented term with “no clinical or medical significance,” according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom, the pro-choice group behind Issue 1, beat back a ballot measure in August that would have required voter-driven constitutional amendments to pass with 60% of the vote. That proposal was also called Issue 1.

The proposed constitutional amendment comes as part of a national campaign by pro-choice groups to codify abortion rights in state law and constitutions following the Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Pro-life advocates are seeking to reverse their fortunes after the pro-choice side went 6 for 6 on ballot measures in the November 2022 election, including proposals enshrining abortion rights in state constitutions in California, Michigan and Vermont.

Ohio currently allows abortion before 21 weeks and six days, and then afterward to save the woman’s life or prevent risks to her physical health. A heartbeat law banning most abortions after six weeks’ gestation is pending in the courts.

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