Groups speak out on abortion issue, legislation and election
By Marc Kovac
Planned Parenthood and groups that oppose GOP-supported legislation limiting access to abortions voiced concern Tuesday that Statehouse Republicans would move forward with law changes during the final weeks of Ohio’s general assembly.
And they’re citing the results of the presidential election as evidence that voters aren’t backing Republicans on abortion-related issues.
“We sent a clear, powerful and unmistakable message last week that women don’t want politicians to meddle in their personal medical decisions,” said Stephanie Kight, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio.
“It’s clear some Ohio politicians didn’t hear us last week, so we want to make sure that they can hear us now. ... Voters want to protect women’s health care. They don’t want to restrict it.”
The press conference came a day before a legislative committee had scheduled a possible vote on a bill that would prioritize the distribution of funding for family-planning services, a move that likely would block money for Planned Parenthood.
Additionally, the Ohio Senate is expected to take up the Heartbeat Bill, legislation that would block abortions within weeks of conception.
And Ohio Right to Life, the day after last week’s general election, reiterated its positions on such issues.
“We refuse to relent simply because of the presidential outcome,” Mike Gonidakis, the group’s president, said in a released statement. “Ohio Right to Life looks forward to advancing our robust pro-life agenda we have crafted for 2013. As we look to grow and expand, we commit to our statewide membership that we will be on the front lines and serve as a voice for the voiceless.”
But Planned Parenthood and others say the re-election of President Barack Obama and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown are proof positive that voters don’t support the kind of legislation backed by right-to-life groups.
“The Grand Old Party wants to go back to the old days when women were barefoot and pregnant, home to make dinner by 5 p.m.,” said state Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat from Cleveland who sported a T-shirt reading “GOP: Get Out of Our Panties” during the Statehouse press conference. “It’s funny how they want small government, but they want government small enough to fit in a woman’s womb,” she added.