In the 3rd Ohio gubernatorial debate in 2018, Rich Cordray was asked about the abortion bans being considered by the Republican majority in the Ohio legislature. Rich Cordray and Betty Sutton understand how critical it is to protect abortion access for Ohioans, and that is why he has promised to veto the those bills.

KAREN KASLER: Mr. Cordray, several people from around Ohio submitted questions to the Ohio debate commission regarding abortion, specifically the law to defund Planned Parenthood, which is now in federal court, as is the ban on abortions following a Down syndrome diagnosis.

If you win as governor, it’s possible and even likely that you’ll be working with a Republican led legislature, which has helped pass some of these laws, actually has enacted these laws. With this in mind, and the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh now on the Supreme Court, how would you keep your promise to protect reproductive rights?

RICH CORDRAY: Ok, the first thing I will do is I will protect reproductive rights. Betty Sutton and I will protect them in this state. Mike DeWine has had no respect for those rights. He’s gone so far now as to say no exceptions even for rape or incest. That’s too extreme for Ohio. This legislature has passed 21 restrictions on a woman’s right to choose in the last seven years. Mike DeWine has cheer-led them all and defended them all, even the ones that were unconstitutional. Even the ones where you and I wound up paying attorney fees to the party out of taxpayer monies.

I will tell the legislature, “Don’t bring those bills to my desk because I will veto them.”

He has said he will sign a “Heartbeat Bill.” That “Heartbeat Bill” will set back the business climate in this state because it’s too extreme. John Kasich vetoed it, but Mike DeWine has said he will sign it.

A woman’s right to choose and to make their own health decisions is something we should be protecting in Ohio, and I will protect it.

Let me say what else: If we get this out of the way, this obsessive, manic obsession with defunding Planned Parenthood, taking away health care there, and restrictions on abortion, we can actually make progress on maternal health issues where the legislature has neglected them. Pre-natal care. Post-natal care. Infant mortality, which we know is a crisis in this state, particularly in the African-American community. The legislature has done nothing about it. We need to reprogram them in a different direction so they can be more helpful in terms of helping the state move forward on real problems that we’re experiencing right now.

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