COLUMBUS– State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) 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.
“The Roe v. Wade decision was made while I was in college. At the time, birth control and reproductive health services were available from healthcare providers, but the physicians were all male and very judgmental. Appointments were hard to get and our choices were limited. I knew a few women who became pregnant and made the difficult and life-threatening choice to seek an abortion from doctors in dark alleys and back rooms. We learned of women who sought to self-treat and later died.
I am avid supporter of the right to choose and the right to privacy, and I am outraged that the Supreme Court has revoked Roe v. Wade. I will oppose House Bill 598 and any other proposed legislation to make abortions illegal in the state of Ohio. I absolutely disagree with efforts to outlaw abortions, especially those without any exceptions for rape, incest, or to protect the health of the mother. I believe that a woman and her doctor should be able to make medical decisions without government interference, and I agree with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s statement that ‘a woman’s ability to control her reproductive life is critical to the equality of women in life and law.’ I stand with the women of Ohio and will absolutely continue to fight for our reproductive rights,” said Rep. Lightbody.
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.