Columbus — Today, abortion rights organizations and activists from across Ohio protested the six-week abortion ban. A rally and press conference on the Statehouse steps was held hours before the bill’s initial committee hearing in the Ohio Senate.
Organized within the Freedom of Choice Ohio coalition, these organizations contributed to today’s event:
“Let’s be clear, if the Ohio Senate passes HB 258 it will function as a total abortion ban. Yes, they’re packaging it as “six weeks,” but in reality, most women don’t even know they’re pregnant at that time, and it will be impossible for them to access abortion when they find out.”
Jocelyn Rosnick, Policy Director, ACLU of Ohio
“Catholics strongly urge the Senate to reject HB258. A woman’s deeply consequential decisions around whether and when to continue a pregnancy are varied and complex. By setting arbitrary limits, this bill would strip women of their agency to make their own ethical decisions around pregnancy. Because each woman is a moral agent deserving of dignity and respect, we believe that it is neither our role—nor the government’s—to stand in judgment of or interfere with a woman making conscience-based decisions for herself and her family.”
Sarah Hutchinson Ratcliffe, Vice President, Catholics for Choice
“Once a woman has made the decision to end a pregnancy, she needs access to safe, legal abortion care in her community. Period. Bodily autonomy is a human right and has a powerful impact on her health, educational attainment, career trajectory, and ability to obtain and preserve economic security.”
Kellie Copeland, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
“NCJW/Cleveland is strongly opposed to House Bill 258, which would prevent an abortion before most women even know they are pregnant–and urge legislators not to spend our state’s limited resources of taxpayer dollars defending a bill that is unconstitutional. The six week abortion ban is a violation of Judaism’s beliefs which dictate that when it comes to reproduction, the health and life of a mother always come before the potential life of a fetus. We understand and respect that every religion has its own belief systems around the issues of abortion, and therefore, we do not believe that another’s religious beliefs on this issue should be allowed to supersede our own.”
Susan Reis, State Policy Advocate, NCJW
“New Voices for Reproductive Justice serves Black women across Ohio and we say to the Ohio Legislature and supporters of this bill to Trust Black Women. A 6-week abortion ban violates our Human Rights to control our bodies, reproduction and ability to form our families. New Voices will organize our supporters in every corner of Ohio and stand with our statewide partners to defeat HB 258,” La’Tasha D. Mayes, Executive Director, New Voices for Reproductive Justice.
“This bill criminalizes pregnant people for exercising their free will and moral authority, and compromises the sacred oath of medical professionals to provide healing and wholeness for their patients. People of faith, compassion, and goodwill will not stop until every Ohioan can make their own reproductive decisions according to their individual faith and conscience — all without political interference.”
Elaina Ramsey, Executive Director, Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
“Ohio legislators supporting HB 258 have made it clear that they do not care about Ohioans’ right to make their own personal decisions about their health and medical care. Today were sending a clear message to anti-reproductive health care politicians that House Bill 258 is extreme, dangerous, and not aligned with the values of the people of this state.”
Lauren Blauvelt, State Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio
“ROOTT is a Black woman led Reproductive Justice Organization that seeks to address our maternal and infant health needs on our terms, through our voices. We adamantly stand for the right to reproductive autonomy and decision as to how, where, when, and IF we choose to have children. HB 258 stands to not only limit our decisions but criminalize Black and Brown persons at a disproportionate rate.”
Jessica Roach, Co-founder and CEO, Restoring Our Own Through Transformation (ROOTT)
“Our legislators have the right to their deeply held religious beliefs. But they do not have the right to impose those beliefs on the women of Ohio.”
Jim G Helton, Co-Founder, Tri-State Freethinkers
“Women Have Options/ Ohio is alarmed by the Ohio Senate taking up the cruel and dangerous “Heartbeat Bill” abortion ban. Banning abortion after six weeks simply doesn’t take the reality of pregnancy into account. It can take more than six weeks to even find out that you’re pregnant, so it makes it impossible for any of us to think through a course of action, talk with our families, or even talk to a doctor. We all deserve the time we need to figure out what we want our immediate present and future family, education, career, finances, and health to be. Instead, Ohioans will take on extra costs, delays, travel, child care, and may need to take off from work or school to get the abortion care they need.”
Stephanie Craddock Sherwood, Executive Director, Women Have Options / Ohio
The six-week abortion ban bill before the Ohio Senate would effectively outlaw abortion and criminalize physicians. Over twenty-thousand people choose to have an abortion in Ohio each year, and seven in ten Americans support legal access to abortion care. Banning women from getting a medical procedure is dangerous, out of touch with Ohio values, and is completely unacceptable.