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Pro-life leader Lila Rose responds to bruising loss on Ohio abortion vote: 'Redouble our efforts'

Several pro-life leaders and advocacy groups have spoken about what can be learned from Ohio enshrining abortion as a right in their state constitution.

Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, was among the many pro-life advocates disappointed by the recent Ohio constitution amendment vote.

"It was a tragic loss. And now the state has enshrined abortion on demand in their constitution. I think it's a consequence of multiple factors. But it requires that our movement, the pro-life movement, redouble our efforts, that we turn a new page on strategy," Rose told Fox News Digital.

On Tuesday, Ohio voters handily approved a constitutional amendment that would "establish in the Constitution of the State of Ohio an individual right to one’s own reproductive medical treatment, including but not limited to abortion" and "create legal protections for any person or entity that assists a person with receiving reproductive medical treatment." 

Pro-choice advocates such as Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU of Ohio heavily campaigned in favor of the amendment and overwhelmingly outspent pro-life supporters in the days leading up to the vote.


"There's been obviously tremendous backlash from the pro-abortion side since the overturning of Roe and incredible amounts of cash that have just been poured into these state votes. And I mean, in the state of Ohio, estimates right now are that the pro-life side is outspent by at least 12 million in the midterms," Rose said. "Last year, there were some estimates that the pro-life ads are outspent 35 to 1 by pro-abortion ads. So there's just incredible amounts of money coming in from abortion advocates. And I do think we need to up our game with money."

The Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America (SBA) organization reported that, in the closing weeks leading up to the election, pro-choice television ads outspent pro-life ads $19 million to $7.7 million. In 2022, the group wrote that $391 million was spent on pro-choice TV ads compared to $11 million on GOP ads.

"Pro-life and GOP forces must begin preparing for these fights now, most urgently raising the funds necessary to cut through the abortion lobby’s lies and deception, aided significantly by their allies in the media," SBA president Marjorie Dannenfelser said. "Under this threat, GOP leaders in these states must step up to aid these efforts, the same way Governor Mike DeWine and Senator JD Vance did during the final stretch in Ohio."

Vance released a statement on Wednesday in support of SBA and called for further dedication to the pro-life cause.

"For pro lifers, last night was a gut punch. No sugar-coating it. Giving up on the unborn is not an option. It's politically dumb and morally repugnant. Instead, we need to understand why we lost this battle so we can win the war," Vance wrote on X.


Rose similarly called on politicians to continue pushing pro-life messaging without giving lenience to pro-choice arguments.

"Politicians need to lead with truthful messaging. They shouldn't try to have it both ways and say, 'well, we support abortion and in some cases it's okay, but otherwise we're going to kind of try to toe the party line and support life.' I mean, either abortion kills a baby or it doesn't. Politicians need to be unafraid to be truthful and they will come across as more authentic if they're truthful. They will win more trust even when people disagree with them if they're truthful," Rose said.

She added, "We need to have courage and vision to achieve victory here. We can't just back down or just blame our circumstances. We have to redouble our efforts, get smarter and win. And that's what we're going to do."

Ohio was one of multiple states that have passed measures protecting abortion since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022. California, Vermont and Michigan citizens have also voted to enshrine abortion as a right in their state constitutions. Kansas voters also rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed lawmakers to regulate abortion in the state.

Rose claimed the losses fundamentally came from a lack of proper education on what exactly abortion is.


"People don't recognize the evil that it is. They don't recognize that it's the murder of a child. And so when we focus on tangential issues or we go on to the talking points of the opposition, which are very deceptive about words like ‘reproductive freedom’ and 'women's rights,' which don't reflect in any way what abortion actually is, which is the killing of a child, then we lose the opportunity to win," Rose said.

Looking ahead, Rose said, "In the future, we will be getting more involved in a more robust way. And part of that involvement will be leading with the message that people need to know before they go to vote."

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