This week, Kelley, Elaina, and Gabe discussed the US Senate vote to defeat Skinny Repeal that would destroy Americans’ access to affordable health care and block Planned Parenthood from Medicaid funding. Also, they talk about this week’s federal court hearing to challenge John Kasich’s latest plan to defund Planned Parenthood at the state level.
Elaina spoke up against Ohio Right to Life’s latest announcement that they really, really, don’t support rape survivors. She has a letter in the Columbus Dispatch:
As a rape survivor and a committed Christian, I’m deeply disturbed by Ohio Right to Life’s decision to only endorse candidates that “hold a ‘pro-life’ position with no exceptions to abortion stemming from rape or incest (Dispatch article, last Friday).”
No woman should be forced to carry a pregnancy against her will, no matter the circumstance. As the executive director of the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, I faithfully advocate for compassionate reproductive care for all — including full access to contraceptives, adoption, abortion, and foster care. Anything less violates the lived experiences and moral agency of Ohio women, particularly survivors of rape and incest.
Given that 1 in 3 women will experience physical or sexual violence, Ohio Right to Life’s hard-line agenda perpetuates a rape culture. Rape survivors should not be punished and traumatized further to carry a pregnancy to term without their full consent.
Whether or not to become a parent is a sacred decision and should remain personal and private. While Ohio Right to Life claims to be nonsectarian, it has a long history of using toxic Christian rhetoric to restrict women’s reproductive health-care access.
The actions of Ohio Right to Life do not represent my faith, that of other religious traditions, nor the will of most women across our state.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland issued a statement:
This new low standard in the Ohio Right to Life endorsement criteria further solidifies their alignment with extremists like President Donald Trump who believe that women who have abortions should be punished. These values are not Ohio values.
Women deserve access to safe, legal abortion care in their communities without judgment or political interference—regardless of the reason she is unable to continue a pregnancy. Here at NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, we trust women to make their own reproductive health decisions, and we will continue to back candidates that do as well.
Also in the Dispatch, the newspaper issued their third editorial criticizing Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharen Kennedy for participating in an anti-abortion event before hearing a case about Toledo’s last abortion clinic:
The high court should modernize its process for handling complaints against one of its own. This is disappointing given that this court has been open with the public. This falls short of its own standard.
Join NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio at an event near you:
August 19 — Toledo Pride Festival
NARAL’s The Morning After is a production of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.
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Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.