Officials respond to Supreme Court decision


WASHINGTON — Reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade has come swiftly from elected officials and organizations.

Ohio’s Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said, “As we transition as a nation from Roe to Dobbs, we all need to do our best to understand and respect the heartfelt, genuine differences of opinions among our families, friends, neighbors and communities. Being an adoptee who started life in a foster home, my own experience helped shape my views on this issue. I’m here today because my birth mother chose life and put me up for adoption, which I know could not have been an easy decision for her. My prayer for all of us is this collective experience will build a more compassionate nation that values life.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said, “This decision returns abortion policy to the place it has always belonged: to the elected policy branches of government. Roe was poorly reasoned, a doctrine of shifting sands that invited perpetual litigation.

“We will continue to debate this issue. But passion is not a license to violence. I call again on my federal colleague, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and my fellow states’ attorneys general to publicly commit to holding violent protesters accountable under the law, no matter which side they are on,” said Yost.

Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said “Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of life and liberty. Our members have consistently defended the lives of babies yet to be born. We will continue to do so, as we evaluate what additional resources pregnancy centers and young families may need. I look forward to reviewing the specific details in the opinion, so that as we move forward, any legislation we pass in the Ohio Senate follows the guidance of the court, protecting life, and upholding the Constitution. Today, we celebrate a long overdue turning point in our nation’s history.”

Desiree Tims, president and CEO of Innovation Ohio, said, “Today, the unthinkable occurred. The conservative-controlled U.S. Supreme Court ignored decades of precedent and overturned Roe v. Wade. They ended federal protection for abortion rights.

“Dozens of states — including Ohio — will likely now ban all abortion without any exemptions, including rape or incest. Ohio’s Republican supermajority will have the power to force its residents to give birth when they become pregnant,” Tims said.

“It’s hard to fathom the devastating impacts of this decision. That’s why this cannot be the end of our fight — it must be the beginning of a movement. We can and will right this deadly wrong together. For the time being, abortion remains LEGAL in Ohio. Most Americans and Ohioans support the basic human right to decide what happens to our own bodies. It’s time for the majority to speak with one voice that cannot be ignored. We must not allow an illegitimate minority to take away our personal freedoms,” said Tims.

“This catastrophic decision also highlights another truth: local and state elected officials hold our lives in their hands. Down ballot races have never been more important. We must vote in every single election, especially for state Supreme Court candidates. Ohio’s Supreme Court will likely now decide the future of abortion rights in our communities,” Tims said. “Mark this year’s election date in your calendar: Nov. 8, 2022. We will defend our rights from the ground up.

“I know many Ohioans are feeling fear and even defeat right now, but I want you to know there are people fighting with and for you. Democrats at all levels of government continue to fight for our rights, and we are deeply grateful for their work. We are angrier and more determined than we’ve ever been. We will never give up. Ohioans and Americans will stand together in the ongoing fight for our freedoms,” said Tims.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, stripping Americans of the fundamental right to have an abortion, Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters said, “Ohioans’ fundamental right to reproductive care, including abortion and birth control, is on the line in this year’s election. This disastrous decision lays squarely at the feet of Ohio Republicans – from J.D. Vance to Mike DeWine to extremists in the statehouse – who have spent years working to strip women of their basic rights and enacting new, cruel restrictions that would punish survivors of rape and incest.

“It is critical that Ohioans elect Tim Ryan, Nan Whaley and pro-choice Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in November who will protect the right to abortion. We will continue to fight so that women can make these personal decisions with their doctors and without unwanted and unnecessary interference from politicians. This November, Ohioans will take their outrage to the polls and defeat the extremist Republicans who gutted our freedom to choose.”

Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson, R-OH, said “Today, we celebrate a historic, and long overdue, win for the right to life movement. After nearly 50 years, the Supreme Court has once again recognized that the Constitution does not establish or defend a right to an abortion.

“Since I swore my oath of office, I have worked to protect the most fundamental freedom: the right to life. I am overjoyed to see this outcome from SCOTUS! We should rejoice in this victory for the unborn. However, this court case is not the end of our efforts to protect the right to life, but it finally empowers them. It is now on states, and elected officials across the country, to pass laws that protect the most innocent and vulnerable among us,” said Davidson. “Defending freedom always begins with defending life. I strongly support immediate implementation of Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill!”

U.S. Senator Rob Portman, R-OH, said, “Today’s ruling is consistent with my view that policy questions regarding abortion should be decided by the elected representatives of the people, not the Supreme Court. Through its ruling today, the Court made this clear. The states already play a significant role in abortion policy, but have been constrained by various Supreme Court rulings. Now the issue of abortion will be decided by the states and the elected representatives closest to the people.

“While abortion is a very sensitive and emotional issue with strong feelings on both sides, I think most Americans agree that human life is precious and should be protected wherever possible. To that end, we should do more to work together in a bipartisan manner to promote adoption, reduce the number of abortions, and provide support for pregnant women in difficult circumstances,” said Portman.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, said “For 50 years, women in America had the right to make their own personal health care decisions. Today, five judges handed that right over to politicians. This will be the first generation of women to grow up with fewer rights and freedoms than their mothers and grandmothers, and this burden will be disproportionately carried by low-income women and women of color. This is a radical decision by an increasingly out-of-touch court, and Americans won’t stand for it. When, how, and whether to have a family is one of the most personal and meaningful decisions we make in life, and the freedom to make those decisions for yourself, free from political interference, should be available to everyone. The president and Congress must take action restoring protections for women to make their own health choices, and women will make their voices heard in voting booths around Ohio and the country this November.”

Tim Ryan released a statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning forty-nine years of settled law protecting the right to an abortion since Roe v. Wade.

“Today’s disastrous decision is the largest case of government overreach in my lifetime. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court is gutting a long-established right in order to put politicians between women and their doctors. Even worse, this ruling gives the green light to those here in Ohio who have introduced legislation that would deny women access to potentially lifesaving care, and threaten to put women and doctors in jail,” said Ryan.

“We saw this coming, which is why as a member of Congress I’ve voted repeatedly to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, only to watch it die in the Senate along with so many other bills that would protect health care and help women and families. It’s clear the Senate is not working the way it’s supposed to and Ohio women will pay the price. It has never been more important that we expand our pro-choice majority, end the filibuster, and pass legislation to protect the fundamental right to an abortion,” said Ryan.

State Rep. Jeff Crossman. D-Parma, the Democratic nominee for Ohio Attorney General, said, “This decision threatens freedom itself and it’s astonishing that conservative activist judges on the U.S. Supreme Court chose to legislate and overturn a five decade old precedent that upheld a fundamental right everyone has come to rely upon. All Americans should be permitted the right to consult with their own families, their religious leaders, and their individual conscience free from interference from the government, especially on something as private and as personal as reproductive health.

“I trust people to make the decisions that are best for their families and their personal health. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court decision today robs individuals of that right and now forces an extremist Ohio legislature between patients and doctors, between clergy and the faithful, and between families and difficult decisions. As Ohio’s next Attorney General, I intend to uphold individual rights and protect Ohioans from the extreme legislation that will now likely come as a result of this decision, including such things as criminalizing health care decisions and miscarriages, the abolishment of same-sex marriage, and government privacy intrusions which we have only begun to conceive,” said Crossman.

“Ohio deserves an Attorney General, who will champion the individual right to reproductive freedom. On days like today, I am proud to continue this fight alongside the strong women in my life who recognize the significance of this decision and how this threatens the future of our state. While extremists may welcome this ruling, I welcome the renewed energy that this fight for fundamental rights will bring to our state and nation,” he said.

Scott Schertzer, the Democratic candidate for Ohio State Treasurer, said “What a travesty of justice. We will not be deterred nor will we stop until we right this Supreme wrong. The vast majority of Ohioans and Americans support women’s reproductive rights and we must, now more than ever, commit ourselves to the work that must be done together to stop the extremists in this country from imposing their world view on the rest of us.”

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.

Archbishop of Cincinnati, Most Rev.Dennis M. Schnurr, released a letter to members of the Catholic Church. In part, the letter reads, “Today’s Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which reverses the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, is a welcome and potential watershed moment in the history of the United States. This decision means that states, including Ohio, now have the option to legally protect the most vulnerable of all human beings: babies in the womb.

The constant teaching of the Catholic Church is that human life begins at conception. God alone is the Author and Lord of life. Therefore, the intentional taking of innocent human life is intrinsically evil and must always be opposed. Modern science only strengthens the Church’s opposition to abortion, as advancements in genetics and prenatal imaging increasingly demonstrate that a unique human life begins at conception.”