On Monday morning, May 16, the Lucas County Commissioners and various elected officials held a press conference at the One Government Center to reaffirm their position on women’s abortion rights. County Commissioners plan to vote on a resolution stating that they support a woman’s right to choose and for them to have access to abortion care and other reproductive services.
Those in attendance included Commissioner Pete Gerken; Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak; State Representative Paula Hicks-Hudson; State Representative Lisa Sobecki; Jamie Miracle, deputy director for Pro-Choice Ohio; Toledo Councilman Nick Komives; State House of Representative Candidate Erika White; Kristin Hady, local pro-abortion advocate and other supporters.
The group highlighted the state’s actions towards scaling back on abortion care if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Under pending House Bill 598, also known as the Enact Human Life Protection Act, abortions in Ohio would be prohibited without any exceptions.
This proposed legislation comes after the leaking of a U.S. Supreme Court draft decision regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Justice Samuel Alito has written in a majority draft opinion that the decision on women’s abortion rights is the responsibility of the individual state’s elected officials, giving ammunition to state governments that would like to do away with those rights–Ohio being one of them.
“This particular bill would immediately come into effect and will effectively ban the right for a woman to choose what she is going to do with her own body.” said Hicks-Hudson. “We can talk about pro-life or pro this-and-that, but what this bill effectively does is cuts out all of that conversation. That takes the government into the bedroom and into the private lives of individuals, and says to them, ‘No matter what and no matter what condition or circumstance, if a woman becomes pregnant, she must carry that child to term.’”
Fellow leaders and lawmakers agree that the state should stay out of the matter, citing that most Ohioans believe that a woman should have the right to choose.
Rep. Sobecki opened up to the crowd, sharing her experience with abortion care as a young woman and how the opportunity to make that choice is essential for women. She continued to say that “the decision to have an abortion should be between a woman and her doctor. Many women have no one to turn to and it’s important to ensure all women have equal access to abortion.”
Speakers for the morning urged for the Lucas County Commissioners to move forward with voting for the resolution and wanted to assure the public that the fight to retain a woman’s choice is their priority amid the revelation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on Roe v. Wade.