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Abortion Rights Advocates Protest Against Pair Of Bills That Would Restrict Abortion In Ohio

Abortion rights supporters protest at the Statehouse.
Ohio Public Radio
Abortion rights supporters protest at the Statehouse.

Another fight over abortion rights is looming at the Statehouse. Lawmakers are expected to take up two bills that restrict abortions during the upcoming lame duck session. That brought supporters of legal abortion out to protest to try to convince lawmakers to scrap those bills.

Supporters of legal abortion chanted, held signs and hands on the sidewalks around the Ohio Statehouse. Stephanie Craddock Sherwood is with the group, Women Have Options. She says the election has energized people who want to protect abortion rights. 

“I’m hearing people have woken up. We have had unprecedented support this past week. It’s incredible the show of support. People are ready to come out. They are ready to march. They are ready to build a wall of resistance to these abortion bans, to any barriers to any access to abortion,” Craddock Sherwood said.

Gabriel Mann of NARAL Pro Choice Ohio says the group wants to stop Ohio lawmakers from taking up two bills in the next couple of weeks.

“One is a 20 week abortion ban. The other is a restriction on the handling of biological material,” Mann said.

Mike Gonidakis, the president of Ohio Right to Life, questions the effectiveness of the protest.

“If they truly effectuate change, they should do it between the hours of 8 and 5 when the legislators are there,” Gonidakis said.

And Gonidakis hopes lawmakers will pass the two bills under consideration because that’s what voters want.

"The legislature and our governor would argue that Ohioans, just a week ago, affirmed the things they are doing," he said. " They went from 65 to 66 members – all pro-life in the House. We went from 23 to 24 – all pro-life in the Senate. So if they were doing something that relates to the life matter that voters opposed, they would have voted for somebody else.”

And Gonidakis says both bills have been in the works for a year and a half and are constitutional.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.