Letter: Poorly written amendment
To the editor:
It is unfortunate that the constitutional amendment on the ballot is indirect and ambiguous; the “explanatory statement” appearing with it is no better.
A reasonable person might think the explanations were written by an unbiased, neutral editor trying to clarify the language of the amendment. Not so. The “explanations” were adopted as part of the legislation, and were written by the same biased, partisan editor, who was perhaps more interested in passing the amendment than in clarifying its language. Once those statements are passed, no one — not election officials, not county clerks — can change them.
Senator Marci Francisco offered an amendment on Jan. 28, 2021, that was voted down. Her amendment would have made the explanations clearer, more comprehensive, and more honest than the ones we have. She may not have been unbiased or neutral, but her proposed statement was.
Her language would have made it clear that the proposed change is to the Bill of Rights; that a NO vote would affirm that the constitution establishes no requirement for government funding of abortion; and that, because the state supreme court found “bodily autonomy” to be a fundamental rather than an absolute right, it would still allow the people, through their elected state legislators, to regulate abortion, as long as the state established a compelling state interest and the regulations were narrowly tailored to promote that interest.
We voters deserve unbiased, neutral explanations on our ballots.