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It's looking increasingly likely that an Ohio anti-abortion group is going to come up short in its bid to land a so-called "personhood" amendment on the state's November ballot.
The Associated Press checked in on Personhood Ohio to see where they stand as the July 4 deadline looms. In short, the group is nowhere close to the 385,000 signatures they need to land the referendum on the state ballot. So far the group has gathered 20,000 odd signatures in support, or a litte more than 5 percent of the number it needs with two weeks to go.
Though the exact details of "personhood" amendments vary between states, they consistently seek to establish that life begins when a human egg is fertilized in an attempt to ban all abortions, even in cases of incest and rape. A series of similar amendments to state constitutions have failed in recent elections—including in conservative hotbeds like Mississippi—so even if the referendum were to make it on the Buckeye State ballot, passage would be unlikely.
The Ohio amendment is supported by the national organization Personhood USA, based in Denver, but has failed to rally local anti-abortion groups. Catholic Conference of Ohio hasn’t taken an official position and also hasn’t encouraged parishes to gather signatures. Meanwhile, the president of Ohio Right to Life explained that he’s not behind it because it’s such a longshot. "It would be really difficult to compete with the Hollywood money that would come into Ohio," he told the AP.
Groups in several states have tried to get personhood amendments on the ballot for the fall, with little success. The movement was unable to gather the number of signatures in both Nevada and California. Organizers expect they’ll make it on in Montana and Colorado, where the amendment has been defeated twice already, in 2008 and 2010. Meanwhile, courts in Oklahoma previously struck down one such amendment, declaring it unconstitutional.