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Rep. Smith: Ohioans still deserve the freedom to make their own health care decisions after Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade

June 24, 2022
Kent Smith News

COLUMBUS– State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued a statement after the Supreme Court’s conservative majority struck down Roe v. Wade, which established the right to access safe and legal abortion care in the United States.

"With Roe being overturned, legal abortion might be eliminated in Ohio. This means law enforcement could be forced to investigate miscarriages as possible homicides. This is not what women or law enforcement want. This decision being overturned will have devastating ramifications and women will die due to medical complications during pregnancy.

With the Roe reversal, personal freedom and the ability to make reasonable medical decisions are at stake. The 132 members of the Ohio General Assembly are not qualified to be the OBYGN doctors for all of Ohio’s female residents. With this ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court will put the lives of Ohio women at risk because every pregnancy is complicated. That is why babies are born in hospitals, not in state capitals or courtrooms,” said Rep. Smith.

Over 60% of Ohioans agree with the Roe v. Wade decision to allow access to abortion. Despite this, Ohio Republicans continue to prioritize legislation to ban abortion, including the 6-week abortion ban signed into law by Gov. DeWine in 2019. House Bill 598 and Senate Bill 123 are current pieces of legislation that would completely ban abortion in Ohio without any exceptions for rape, incest or to protect the health of the mother. 

Meanwhile, Democrats have introduced House Joint Resolution (HJR) 5, a constitutional amendment that would ensure all people have the freedom to make decisions about their bodies and healthcare. This includes the ability to obtain surgical and medical abortion services. Additionally, the amendment would codify the right to access and use contraceptive devices and medications. 

HJR 5 still awaits assignment to a House committee and a first hearing.