CINCINNATI (LifeSiteNews) — Just days ahead of a statewide vote on whether to enshrine abortion “rights” in the Ohio Constitution, vandalism is reportedly on the rise against Catholic churches in the Buckeye State.
On November 7, Ohioans will vote on Issue 1, which would establish a legal “right” to make “personal reproductive” decisions, “including but not limited to decisions on contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one’s own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion,” which the state “shall not, directly or indirectly, burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against.”
According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the amendment would go far beyond even Roe v. Wade and block prohibitions on partial-birth and dismemberment abortions, allow abortionists to target disabled babies, and end parental consent requirements for abortion as well as minors’ contraception, sterilization, and “gender transition” decisions.
Crux reports that more than a dozen Cincinnati Catholic properties have experienced violence or theft, according to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, including churches, high schools, and cemeteries. The acts include stolen “vote no” yard signs and a spray-painted church window to cover a sign. The archdiocese has directed each of its parishes to play for Mass-goers a homily by Archbishop Dennis Schnurr urging all Ohio Catholics to vote against the amendment, which he called a “clear threat to human life and dignity.”
The Catholic Telegraph adds that at one location, a sign was found in a nearby dumpster; at another, an 8’ by 8’ sign was cut in half. “In addition, yard signs at St. Mary Church are being stolen multiple times a week.”
“I am grateful to all our priests and other parish and school leaders who have maintained steadfast opposition to Issue 1 despite the many challenges presented, including theft and vandalism,” said Archbishop Schnurr. “We remain committed to the protection of and care for women, children and families regardless of the outcome of this election.”
Across the nation, pro-abortion vandalism as well as worse acts, including arson, have been on the rise since Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022. According to the Washington Times, since May 2022 (when the Supreme Court’s intention to overturn Roe was first leaked), the federal government has charged more than 30 pro-lifers for Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act violations but only four pro-abortion activists, despite America experiencing 88 attacks on pregnancy centers and more than 200 on Catholic churches during that same period.
Back in Ohio, pro-life activists have been working for months to sound the alarm and build opposition to Issue 1 and its ramifications.
The public awareness campaign Protect Women Ohio, for instance, is running a $5 million statewide advertising campaign in hopes of raising awareness of the amendment’s ramifications for gender-confused youth. PWO spokeswoman Amy Natoce has argued that the measure’s true nature is so unpopular that the far-left American Civil Liberties Union “couldn’t even rely on grassroots support to collect signatures” and instead “paid out-of-state signature collectors to lie to Ohioans” about it.
Last month, clergymen representing 171 religious congregations in Ohio signed a joint letter urging religious Ohioans to oppose Issue 1, which they called “wicked” and warned would be “much harder to reverse than laws which can be changed with each legislative session” if it succeeds. On October 6, an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 Ohioans descended on the state’s capital for the Ohio March for Life, many brandishing signs specifically calling for Issue 1 to be rejected.