Pro-Choice Ohio reaction to 2022 general election results

Akron — With Ohio election polls closed and most results in, Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland released the following statement:

“Tonight’s outcome was difficult, but the work continues. We will never stop fighting for the 10-year-old girl who was raped and had to leave Ohio to have an abortion. Or for the woman who wanted an abortion but is now carrying a pregnancy against her will because she was unable to leave the state. Or the trans person who wants to have a child, but is afraid they won’t be able to get the care they need in Ohio if they face a pregnancy complication. We will build an Ohio where everyone can make their own reproductive health care decisions. Ohioans deserve a state where everyone who needs an abortion for any reason can get one safely, legally, and locally without stigma, shame or political interference.

“We are so grateful that voters elected Emilia Sykes, our first endorsed candidate for federal office, and former Pro-Choice Ohio intern, to Congress. She is an expert in public health and has long been a reproductive justice champion. She ran an incredible campaign. Her victory is a shining star on an otherwise dark night.

“I am also extremely proud of our endorsed candidates, like Nan Whaley and Cheryl Stephens, because they bravely challenged the most callous and corrupt politicians in Ohio history. They stayed the course and never wavered.”

Pro-Choice Ohio is one of several groups keeping an eye on the post-election legislative session and the possibility of a new abortion ban bill being brought forward in the remaining weeks of 2022.

On lame duck, Copeland said: “Anti-choice politicians are planning to once again ban abortion and impose the cruelty of forced birth on Ohioans, despite witnessing the way we suffered before a court temporarily blocked the six-week ban. We are working to mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to tell their state legislators ‘We will not go back, not now, and never again.’”

Every candidate endorsed by our organization was screened by our staff and approved by the Pro-Choice Ohio board. Find the full list on our website: https://prochoiceohio.org/endorsements/

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Ohioans relieved that abortion access is restored

Cincinnati — Today, Hamilton County Court Judge Christian Jenkins granted the request from Ohio’s abortion providers for a preliminary injunction to keep Ohio’s abortion ban blocked indefinitely. Clinics are again allowed to continue to provide essential, time sensitive-abortion services to patients across Ohio and from neighboring states through 22 weeks gestation.

Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland stated: “This is a victory for patients and the physicians who serve them, both in Ohio and from neighboring states. This ruling is sorely needed to protect the lives and well-being of people who need access to abortion. It will save lives. No longer are Ohio doctors being forced by Governor Mike DeWine and Attorney General Dave Yost to send their patients out of state for health care they need. Patients who cannot travel for care must always be able to access abortion in their home state, with all the dignity they deserve.

“There is little doubt that this case will make its way before the Supreme Court of Ohio. It is imperative that justices on our state’s highest court respect the fundamental human rights in our state constitution. They cannot be permitted to impose their personal agenda on Ohioans from the bench. We must elect principled and ethical justices: Justice Jennifer Brunner, Judge Marilyn Zayas, and Judge Terri Jamison. Based on their behavior in office, we know that current court Justices Pat DeWine, Pat Fischer, and Sharon Kennedy have demonstrated that they are puppets for Mike DeWine and Ohio Republicans, and are unfit to serve.”

Pro-Choice Ohio response to anti-abortion event

Columbus — In response to the anti-abortion event at the Ohio Statehouse today, Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland released the following statement:

“Two out of three Ohioans oppose the six-week abortion ban. For the people who attended this rally, the six-week ban isn’t harsh enough. They want to ban abortion outright, even after seeing the horrific suffering that was caused by the six-week ban until a Hamilton County court stepped in to pause enforcement of this law. The complete lack of compassion for people who need access to abortion, whether because their birth control failed or they are facing a pregnancy complication, is astonishing, and completely out of touch with what Ohioans want.

“Ohioans who care about the wellbeing of people who need access to abortion must vote pro-choice up and down the ballot, from Nan Whaley for Governor to Jennifer Brunner, Marilyn Zayas, and Terri Jamison for the Supreme Court of Ohio. We cannot allow extremists like Mike DeWine, Dave Yost, and the anti-abortion members of the Supreme Court of Ohio to keep pushing their dangerous agenda on our state.”

Ohio abortion report shows importance of access

Columbus — There were 21,813 abortions in Ohio in 2021, according to the annual Induced Abortions in Ohio Report from the Ohio Department of Health. This is a 7% increase over the previous year.

Pro-Choice Ohio Deputy Director Jaime Miracle said: “Each year when this report comes out, there is a lot of focus on the numbers, this number went up, this number went down. What the last few months has really brought into focus is that each of these numbers is a person, a person who needed abortion care and was able to get the care they needed. For several months in 2022, Ohioans didn’t have that option. They had to travel hundreds of miles, wait weeks for appointments, and incur additional expenses, all because Governor Mike DeWine and Attorney General Dave Yost blocked their access to abortion care.”

Miracle continued, “We know that all kinds of people need abortions for all kinds of reasons. Getting access to abortion means that they can take care of the kids they already have, continue their education, and get access to life saving medical treatment. These are the people behind the numbers, and these are the people who Mike DeWine doesn’t want to answer to on a debate stage. Ohioans need leaders who will protect their access to abortion care, not sign bill after bill blocking it. We know that Nan Whaley and Cheryl Stephens will make sure that people who need abortion care can get it, in their community, without judgement, stigma, or delay.”

The Annual Induced Abortions in Ohio Reports is published from the Ohio Department of Health each Autumn, providing data from medical professionals who provide abortion services. https://odh.ohio.gov/explore-data-and-stats/published-reports/data-and-stats-abortion-reports

There are currently nine clinics offering medication abortion services in Ohio. Six of them also offer in-clinic procedures. All of them are providing patients with care permitted by the temporary restraining order extended by Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas this week. Ohio providers are also handling a new increase in patients from West Virginia and Kentucky as those states have banned abortion, although that 2022 trend will not be seen in the 2021 data. Find the full list of clinics on our website.

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.”

The u.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V Wade

Abortion access is temporarily restored in Ohio, and we’re going to keep fighting to keep it that way!

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