Pro-Choice Ohio releases new endorsements for 2022

Columbus — One day after a Hamilton County court judge blocked Mike DeWine’s six-week abortion ban, Pro-Choice Ohio is endorsing a slate of candidates for the Supreme Court of Ohio, in addition to other races on the 2022 General Election ballot.

Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “There will be more court proceedings before this is all over. It is important that everyone knows that we are not powerless in the face of the suffering caused by Governor DeWine. The case currently in Hamilton County will make its way to the Supreme Court of Ohio. Any effort to pass a ballot initiative in Ohio will be impacted by the state’s high court as well. It is imperative that Ohio voters reject Justices Sharon Kennedy, Pat DeWine, and Pat Fischer because they have already shown themselves to be a rubber stamp for Governor DeWine. Everyone who wants to see an end to the suffering caused by the six-week abortion ban should support Ohio’s abortion funds and must vote to elect pro-choice candidates like Justice Jennifer Brunner, Judge Terri Jamison, Judge Marilyn Zayas, and of course Nan Whaley for Governor and Jeff Crossman for Attorney General.”

The candidates listed below were endorsed by the Pro-Choice Ohio board following a rigorous screening by our staff.

For Supreme Court of Ohio
Justice Jennifer Brunner for Chief Justice
Judge Terri Jamison for Justice
Judge Marilyn Zayas for Justice

Nan Whaley for Governor
Cheryl Stephens for Lt. Governor
Jeff Crossman for Attorney General
Chelsea Clark for Secretary of State
Taylor Sappington for State Auditor
Scott Schertzer for State Treasurer

Rep. Tim Ryan for US Senate
Rep. Emilia Sykes for US House of Representatives, 13th District

For the Ohio Senate
District 03 Sen. Tina Maharath
District 09 Rep. Catherine Ingram
District 11 Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson
District 13 Anthony Eliopoulos
District 21 Rep. Kent Smith
District 23 Sen. Nickie Antonio
District 25 Bill DeMora
District 27 Dr. Patricia Goetz
District 33 Bob Hagan

For the Ohio House of Representatives
District 1 Rep. Dontavius Jarrells
District 2 Rep. Latyna Humphrey
District 3 Ismail Mohamed
District 4 Rep. Mary Lightbody
District 5 Rep. Richard Brown
District 6 Rep. Adam Miller
District 7 Rep. Allison Russo
District 8 Rep. Beth Liston
District 10 Russell Harris
District 11 Dr. Anita Somani
District 13 Rep. Michael Skindell
District 14 Sean Brennan
District 16 Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney
District 17 Troy Greenfield
District 18 Darnell Brewer
District 19 Rep. Phillip Robinson
District 21 Elliot Forhan
District 22 Rep. Juanita Brent
District 24 Dani Isaacsohn
District 25 Sen. Cecil Thomas
District 27 Rachel Baker
District 28 Rep. Jessica Miranda
District 30 Alissa Mayhaus
District 31 Rita Darrow
District 32 Matt Shaughnessy
District 33 Rep. Tavia Galonski
District 34 Rep. Casey Weinstein
District 36 Addison Caruso
District 37 Megan Overman
District 40 Amy Cox
District 41 Nancy Larson
District 42 Erika White
District 43 Michele Grim
District 46 Lawrence Mulligan
District 47 Sam Lawrence
District 56 Joy Bennett
District 57 Evan Rosborough
District 59 Lauren McNally
District 61 Louise Valentine
District 62 Brian Flick
District 67 Drew Burge
District 69 Charlotte Owens
District 70 Eric Price
District 72 Dr. James Duffee
District 75 Jan Materni
District 79 Taylor Eastham
District 82 Magdalene Markward
District 83 Claire Osborne
District 84 Sophia Rodriguez
District 86 Barbara Luke
District 89 Jim Obergefell
District 94 Tanya Conrath
District 99 Kathy Zappitello

Chris Ronayne for Cuyahoga County Executive

The list is available on our website: https://prochoiceohio.org/endorsements/

Ohio Abortion Ban Blocked for 14 Days

Columbus — Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christian A. Jenkins has blocked Ohio’s six-week abortion ban for 14 days. The decision comes in Preterm Cleveland et. al. vs. David Yost, et. al. (Case no. A2203203).

Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “Today’s ruling from Judge Christian Jenkins granting a TRO on the six-week abortion ban is a blockbuster ruling. Judge Jenkins said what we have already known: the Ohio Constitution does not allow state legislators and Governor Mike DeWine to ban Ohioans from accessing abortion care. This 14-day stay provides temporary relief to the suffering of people who need to have an abortion.

“There will be more court proceedings before this is all over. It is important that everyone knows that we are not powerless in the face of the suffering caused by Governor DeWine. This case will make its way to the Supreme Court of Ohio. It is imperative that Ohio voters reject Justices Sharon Kennedy, Pat DeWine, and Pat Fischer because they have already shown themselves to be a rubberstamp for Governor DeWine. Everyone who wants to see an end to the suffering caused by the six-week abortion ban should support Ohio’s abortion funds, and support pro-choice candidates like Nan Whaley for governor.”

The move to seek relief in Hamilton County courts came as a result of inaction by the Supreme Court of Ohio. Tomorrow, Pro-Choice Ohio will be releasing our latest round of 2022 General Election endorsements and recommendations. The state court role is critical for the future of abortion rights advocacy in Ohio.

The decision is available at https://hamiltoncountycourts.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Decision-and-Entry-Final-091422.pdf

Supreme Court of Ohio continues to fail Ohioans

Columbus — Attorneys for Dayton abortion clinic Women’s Med Center have announced a new lawsuit in Hamilton County court, citing the failure of the Supreme Court of Ohio to take responsible action.

Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “For weeks, members of Ohio Supreme Court have turned their backs on Ohioans who are suffering because they are being denied the right to access abortion care in our state after six weeks into pregnancy. What is a single parent in Dayton facing an unplanned pregnancy supposed to do when the only clinic in town closes and Indiana outlaws abortion in a couple of weeks? The court should have taken action rather than forcing someone to travel hundreds of miles for a medical procedure, or worse give birth against their will.

Copeland added: “Between their failure to follow state law with respect to the redistricting process and their lack of compassion when being asked to halt callous abortion bans, we’re seeing just how unprofessional Republican justices on the Supreme Court of Ohio really are. Ohio voters have the power to change that. The first and fastest way to restore full abortion access in Ohio is by voting Pat DeWine, Pat Fischer, and Sharon Kennedy off the state Supreme Court in November.”

Dayton abortion clinic to close

Columbus — Women’s Med Center of Dayton has confirmed to Pro-Choice Ohio that because of the implementation of Ohio’s 6-week abortion ban for nearly two months and the impending enforcement of Indiana’s near total ban on abortion they will cease patient services on September 15, 2022. The clinic ownership is also closing their Indiana facility.

Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “This is a heartbreaking loss for everyone in West Central Ohio. Immediately following the Dobbs decision Governor DeWine and AG Yost worked swiftly to ensure that Ohio cut access to abortion as quickly as possible, having a devastating impact on people who need abortion care, especially those who are unable to travel to get that care. The closure of these facilities will only further that harm. Whether a person needs an abortion because it endangers their health, or their birth control failed, no one should be forced to give birth because they cannot access the health care they need in their community. On behalf of the Pro-Choice Ohio family, I want to thank the entire Women’s Med Center team who understood that and provided decades of service to their patients.”

The clinic, located in Kettering, has long been a direct target of Gov. Mike DeWine, Attorney General Dave Yost, anti-choice state legislators, and hateful extremist groups who identified the clinic as being geographically strategic in their efforts to punish people seeking abortion care.

Copeland continued: “Supporting the Dayton clinic was how we first began to work with Nan Whaley when she was mayor. Governor Kasich had signed new attacks on abortion providers for the sole reason of creating bureaucratic red tape specifically targeting Women’s Med Center of Dayton. Those attacks continued throughout Kasich’s tenure and into DeWine’s time as Governor. While Kasich, Dewine, and Statehouse Republicans crafted laws that tried to stop Dayton clinic doctors and hospitals from working together, extremist groups targeted these doctors’ homes. Mayor Whaley was the first to step up and defend Dayton patients and providers. Every Ohio voter needs to know that Nan Whaley is committed to continue defending them.

“As bad as things are now, they will get worse if we allow anti-abortion politicians to remain in office. We must turn out to vote in record numbers for candidates like Nan Whaley this November.”

Multiple amendments in various state budget bills and other bills attacking abortion care were designed by Republicans legislators and governors to weaponize the Ohio Department of Health and force Women’s Med Center to close their doors. Through the dedication of the clinic owners and staff, along with help from activists and Nan Whaley, the clinic had been able to beat back all of these attacks, until now.

  • The 2013 Ohio state operating budget (House Bill 59) required all ambulatory surgical facilities, including abortion clinics, to have a transfer agreement with a “local” hospital. Local was undefined and these transfer agreements are completely medically unnecessary because all hospitals must treat anyone in an emergency situation. This bill also banned any public hospital from signing a transfer agreement with an abortion clinic, greatly limiting which hospitals in the state could sign such an agreement with a facility who provided abortion care.
  • The 2015 Ohio state operating budget (House Bill 64) required that an ambulatory surgical facility (ASF) transfer agreement be with a hospital within 30 miles of the facility.
  • House Bill 157, passed in December 2021, restricted the physicians’ ability to work with state-funded medical facilities, medical schools, and teaching hospitals if they also sign onto a variance application with an Ambulatory Surgical Facility.

Pro-Choice Ohio condemns use of tear gas in Akron

Akron — Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland released the following statement in reaction to the use of chemical weapons by the City of Akron against its citizens: “As a life-long resident of the Akron-area I am horrified by the actions by the Akron Police Department, both in shooting unarmed Jayland Walker at least 60 times, and in tear gassing protesters. These human rights abuses must stop and those responsible must swiftly be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

“Reproductive Justice, a framework created by Black women, is the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent children in safe and sustainable communities. There is no Reproductive Justice in Akron so long as Black parents, and other families of color, live in constant fear that a routine traffic stop can end the way it did for Jayland Walker.

“As the Akron Police Department must surely know, tear gas can cause miscarriages in pregnant people, and can cause other reproductive health care problems. It is banned in war under the Geneva Convention, which are internationally agreed upon rules of warfare. Despite this, the Akron Police Department has yet again used tear gas in our community. We demand that Mayor Horrigan immediately ban this dangerous and inhumane practice.”

Pro-Choice Ohio supporters have been asked to contact Mayor Horrigan via prochoiceohio.org/banteargas

U.S. District Court approves 6-week abortion ban

Columbus — The US District Court has dissolved the injunction against the six-week abortion ban, blocking access to most abortions in the state.

Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “The court may have made this decision, but it happened because of malicious men like Mike DeWine, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Dave Yost and Mike DeWine have no regard for wellbeing of Ohioans. The swiftness of this ruling provides patients with appointments tomorrow with no notice.

“People who have appointments need to contact their provider. If you are unable to have an abortion in Ohio, your clinic will connect you with an abortion fund that will assist you in traveling to access abortion care in another state. If you need an abortion, there is a community here to support you. Mike DeWine and Dave Yost do not give a damn about you, but we do.

“To everyone who supports reproductive freedom, please donate to local abortion funds and advocacy organizations, make sure you are registered to vote, and in November. Vote for Nan Whaley for governor.”

U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Nearly 50 Years of Precedents

Columbus — The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 6-3 overturning over 50 years of precedent in Roe and Casey, according to today’s new decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. While the ruling applies to the 15-week abortion ban from Mississippi, this ruling from the high court returns the power to the state level to decide whether a person can legally obtain an abortion. The decision does not have an immediate impact on the availability of abortion in Ohio.

Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “The most important thing that Ohioans need to know today is that abortion is still legal in Ohio. There are nine clinics across the state and several in neighboring states that can safely and legally provide abortion care for patients. Today’s ruling is devastating, but it is not the end.

“If you want to know who’s to blame for this attack on our basic human rights, look at Governor Mike DeWine and members of the Republican Party. They have spent decades methodically passing legislation and litigating cases to dismantle Roe v. Wade and destroy protections for our bodily autonomy, access to abortion, contraception, and comprehensive sex education. In Ohio, they gerrymandered their way into power, and have defied the Ohio Constitution, the Supreme Court of Ohio, and the majority of Ohio voters in a desperate attempt to hold onto that power. They intend to rule Ohioans, not represent us. We must not submit to that tyranny.

“Mike DeWine, Dave Yost, and Republicans in the Ohio Legislature are doing everything in their power to ban all abortions with no exceptions. If they succeed, it will have a disproportionately harmful impact on Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, the young, people with disabilities, LGBTQ and non-binary people, as well as those living in Appalachia and other rural communities. But make no mistake, it will touch all of us. Though some people may be able to travel out of state to access care, and others may be able access medications to safely manage their own abortions at home, others will not be so lucky. What will happen to the person who has to continue a pregnancy against their will? Or the person who has a serious pregnancy complication in Ohio and it is not legal for their doctor to save them? People have already faced criminal investigations for miscarriages. And what about people who are struggling with infertility when In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is no longer available in our state?

“Pro-Choice Ohio and our allies have fought, and will continue to fight, to keep abortion legal and accessible as long as possible, for as many as possible. We will fight to protect those who need abortion care, and those who provide that care from criminalization. We will never forsake them. The only strategy we are not willing to consider is surrender. We are the majority. We will prevail.”

Pro-Choice Ohio applauds Nan Whaley victory

Columbus — Nan Whaley has won the 2022 Democratic nomination for governor. She will appear on the November ballot opposite Mike DeWine amid a nationwide fight to decide whether abortion access will be upheld or blocked by the US Supreme Court. Pro-Choice Ohio endorsed Whaley early in the campaign.

Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said “Nan is who Ohio needs. We need a passionately pro-choice governor in Ohio, someone who will stop using the Ohio Department of Health as a weapon against abortion clinics. We need someone who will veto abortion bans passed by the state’s gerrymandered legislature. We need a governor who understands what is at stake and will fight to protect and expand abortion access, family planning, and quality affordable and child care.

“Mike DeWine has passed seven abortion bans and state policies against reproductive rights, including a six-week abortion ban. Just last week, he used an executive order to pay crisis pregnancy centers another $1.5 million so they can continue their plot of obstructing abortion access through misinformation campaigns. DeWine and the anti-choice Republicans must be stopped before they do more harm to Ohioans needing abortion access.”

In Akron, Pro-Choice Ohio issued our first ever endorsement in a federal race: “To ensure that everyone has the resources they need, from maternal healthcare, to childcare, to family planning, to abortion, there is no one I trust more to fight in Washington than Akron’s own Emilia Sykes. I’m thrilled to see her nomination and determined to do everything we can to help elect her to Congress.”

Pro-Choice Ohio reaction SCOTUS leak on abortion

Columbus — A draft opinion from US Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito is reported to have been leaked, showing intent to directly overturn the abortion protections outlined in Roe v. Wade.

Pro-Choice Ohio Kellie Copeland said: “Though many expected this could be the Court’s decision, we must be clear that this is not yet an official decision. Nevertheless, the heartbreak, pain and fear are not diminished. To everyone who has had or provided an abortion, or fought to keep abortion legal and accessible, my message to you tonight is that we will never stop fighting for you and everyone else who needs or provides abortion care.

“If legal access to abortion is lost in Ohio, we know that the people most impacted will be Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, disabled folks, trans people, minors, and low-income Ohioans. We must, and will continue to fight back. There will be tough days ahead. But we will not be defeated, because we will not surrender.”

On Tuesday’s primary election, Copeland said: “Now is the time for champions, not just allies. That is why I am asking Democrats to vote for Nan Whaley for governor. She has been in the fight with us for years against Mike DeWine’s crusade to close abortion clinics in our state, and we need her as Ohio’s next governor.”

On clinic availability, Copeland said: “For now, abortion is still legal in Ohio. If you know anyone who has an appointment, or needs an abortion, nine clinics across Ohio remain open to care for patients.” A full list of Ohio’s clinics is available at https://prochoiceohio.org/clinics/

DeWine Pays Off Anti-Abortion Groups

Columbus — Hiding his actions late on a Friday afternoon, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine gave $1,500,000 taxpayer dollars from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families fund to anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers via the state’s Pregnancy and Parenting Program. The funds were transferred under Executive Order 2022-09D.

Pro-Choice Ohio Kellie Copeland: “Mike DeWine is using taxpayer dollars to curry political favor with anti-abortion groups ahead of the Republican primary. The fake clinics that get this money are unregulated, not bound by HIPPA privacy requirements, and they trade in stigma and misinformation to dissuade people from obtaining abortion care. These fake clinics are gearing up to launch intentionally confusing misinformation campaigns following the expected Supreme Court decisions on abortion expected in June. And if that wasn’t bad enough, these funds come from money that was earmarked for needy families and children. Shame on Mike DeWine.”

These funds are in addition to the $6,000,000 allocated to anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers in the 2021 state operating budget, House Bill 110 and funds given to that program by the sale of “Choose Life” license plates.

The u.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V Wade

Abortion care after 6-weeks is banned in Ohio, but the fight for reproductive freedom is not over! We will fight for abortion access forever.

Turn your grief and rage into fuel for the fight ahead by supporting Pro-Choice Ohio today! Rush a special Post-Roe donation to fund essential advocacy efforts and ensure full access to abortion care in Ohio is restored as soon as possible. Make a monthly sustaining donation to make the biggest impact!