Today, news broke that former Ohio Governor John Kasich (R), an anti-choice extremist who used his time in office to attack reproductive freedom, is expected to speak at the Democratic National Convention next month.

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement in response:

“The convention is a reflection of our values as a party and as a people. The overwhelming majority of Democrats and voters in this country support reproductive freedom and access to abortion. In fact, the GOP’s unyielding extremism on these fundamental freedoms is driving votes across the partisan spectrum towards Democratic, pro-choice candidates and officials. Governor John Kasich stands in opposition to these values of respecting the freedom and dignity of women and pregnant people to make their own personal decisions about when, how, and with whom they have families.

For the DNC to give a platform to these antiquated and unpopular ideas at best risks confusing voters about the unqualified support in the Democratic Party for reproductive freedom, something I am proud to have fought for and that the platform clearly reflects. At worst, it sends a signal that the party is equivocating on these issues at a moment when the crisis in reproductive freedom and justice is having terrible impacts on individuals and communities when voters want to know we have their backs. Voters should hear their will reflected in the voices of those on the DNC stage with champions for reproductive freedom, not anti-choice, anti-freedom politicians—and the Democratic Party must make crystal-clear its commitment to protecting and expanding abortion access.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said:

“Everyone must be able to receive the abortion and reproductive healthcare they need without interference from others. As governor, John Kasich abused his power to block abortion access and defunded contraception, HIV testing in minority communities, cancer screenings, and even infant mortality prevention programs. Kasich hurt Ohioans, especially people of color, and he must not be given the opportunity to speak from the podium at the Democratic National Convention. In this moment, when it has become even more abundantly clear how fragile and limited access to abortion is, now is the time to present a vision of a nation where each one of us has the power, resources, and support to care for ourselves, our families, and our communities.”

John Kasich has made no secret of his disdain for reproductive freedom. As Ohio’s governor, he enacted 21 attacks on abortion access and reproductive healthcare, nine of which were snuck into budget bills. During Kasich’s administration, half of Ohio’s abortion clinics closed. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kasich cast 118 anti-choice votes.

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