FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, March 21, 2020
Yesterday Ohio Attorney General David Yost moved to ban clinics from providing abortion care as part of an order suspending “non-essential” health services amid the developing public health crisis. In response, NARAL President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement:
“As our country grapples with how to address this public health emergency, anti-choice politicians in Ohio are brazenly exploiting a global pandemic to roll back access to abortion care. Even in a time of worldwide and national crisis, Governor Mike DeWine and Attorney General David Yost continue to manipulate and control women and families when they need access to care the most.
Pregnancy and abortion care are time-sensitive and cannot be significantly delayed without profound consequences on patient health and well-being. Governors responding to the COVID-19 crisis in other states recognize this fact and have already acted to ensure abortion is classified as ‘essential’ healthcare.
This move is part of a coordinated effort and Governor DeWine and Attorney General Yost’s close ties to extreme anti-choice groups like Ohio Right to Life are no secret. Medical care shouldn’t be determined by politicians pushing their own self-serving agenda—peoples’ needs must always come first, especially at a time like this. It’s alarming to see the lengths they will go to in an effort to deny us our fundamental freedoms, and we refuse to stand by as they put dangerous ideology above the collective health and well-being of Ohioans.”
Republicans have already made clear the lengths they’ll go to exploit this pandemic in order to push a dangerous anti-choice agenda. This month alone we’ve seen at least six state legislatures—including Tennessee, Utah, Kentucky, Idaho, Wyoming, and Oklahoma—advance extreme legislation ranging from bans on abortion to anti-choice constitutional amendments that strip away the right to abortion to “trigger bans” that would immediately go into effect if Roe were to fall.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has made no secret of his radical hostility to abortion rights, and he has a documented history of ties to the head of an anti-choice organization. In April 2019, DeWine signed an extreme ban on abortion before many even know they are pregnant and has touted his role in approving it.
NARAL will work to hold accountable at the ballot box politicians who recklessly put their ideological agenda ahead of the safety and well-being of women and families.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”