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

Issue 1 Passes with an overwhelming majority!

We did it! Abortion and other reproductive care services are now protected in the Ohio Constitution! Support Pro-Choice Ohio’s continued work to ensure safe and equitable abortion care for all Ohioans.