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Ohio's Democratic AG candidate vows to end abortion law appeal

Abortion protestors at Ohio Statehouse on June 29, 2021.
Fabrika Simf
Abortion protestors at Ohio Statehouse on June 29, 2021.

The Democratic candidate for Ohio Attorney General, is promising, if elected, to drop the state’s court appeal seeking to reinstate Ohio’s abortion ban as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

Jeff Crossman, who represents Parma in the Ohio House, said the court was correct in ruling that the ban on abortion is vague and puts the health of women in Ohio.

“As Ohio’s next attorney general, I intend to end this crusade against women and protect their constitutional rights. I will end the appeal immediately and I will honor the court's decision which, again, I said was clear and direct," Crossman said.

Republican Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost appealed a decision handed down by a Hamilton County Court two weeks ago that put on hold the state's abortion ban, which prohibited the procedure at the point fetal cardiac activity could be detected.

That ban, which outlawed abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, was put in effect on June 24 and continued until September 14 when the court put a temporary holdon it and then put an indefinite hold on October 7.

The lawyers for abortion clinics argued the ban violates Ohio’s constitution which gives citizens more rights than the federal constitution.

Crossman and other Democrats running for top statewide offices next month are hoping anger over the abortion ban will drive voters to the polls to vote for them.

Shortly after the ban was put in place this summer, a 10-year-old Columbus girl who was the victim of rape went to Indiana to get an abortion because she couldn't get one here.

Yost angered many at that time by questioning the validity of the story about the child. And oncea suspect was arrested and chargedafter allegedly telling police he raped the child, Yost didn't apologize for his comments.

He said there was no need for him to apologize since he wasn't questioning the girl herself but the media stories about her.

In the weeks since that time, Yost has claimed the 10-year-old could have gotten an abortion here in Ohio.

But there are questions about that. While the law does allow an exception for the life of the mother, it doesn't contain an exception for rape or incest.

There is another exception in the law that could possibly allow an abortion if the pregnancy threatened a woman's vital organs. But doctors have repeatedly testified that even with the exceptions,they are so vague and unclear that they are reluctant to perform abortions as soon as they ordinarily would in many of those cases.

Yost said he appealed the Hamilton County ruling after consulting with fellow Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who has said he will go as far as he can to stop abortions in Ohio.

This case might end up before the Ohio Supreme Court. But it won't be the first time. Opponents of the ban initially filed their complaint there but rescinded it and took the challenge to the Hamilton County Court when the state's highest court didn't act.

Contact Jo Ingles at jingles@statehousenews.org.