COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A proposed amendment to the Ohio constitution called “Medical Right To Refuse” is one step closer to becoming a ballot initiative.
The amendment calls for people to have the right to refuse medical treatment with the Ohio Ballot Board examining the proposed amendment Tuesday, advancing it to the next step in the process.
“Medical Right to Refuse” proposes that an individual has the right to refuse medical procedures, vaccines, devices, etc. and that the government, an employer, or health providers cannot overrule a refusal.
“We’re smart enough to know what we want and what we don’t want done with our bodies and as long as we do our research and do those decisions, that should be our right,” said citizen Diana Smith. Smith added that part of the reason she supports this amendment had to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ultimately, the ballot board voted yes to the proposal moving on after some discussion.
“We’re not here to debate the merits of the proposal only whether it contains a single proposed amendment to the Ohio constitution,” explained Secretary of State Frank LaRose. “Here it all pertains to the same subject matter. We know what it’s about. It’s about allowing people to choose whether or not they want to have a procedure or not.”
The next step is gathering signatures — more than 440,000 are necessary to keep the process going.
“I would like to see May 2023 — we’d have to have our — I’m just saying 500,000 plus signatures — by the end of December but that would be our goal,” said Smith.
Similar legislation in the form of House Bill 248 hasn’t made movement in the Ohio legislature. The bill aims to block schools and businesses from requiring vaccines — it was introduced in April and hasn’t been moved out of committee.
You can read the full petition submission below.