COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is weighing in on the state’s next election, where Ohioans will go to the polls to decide on a constitutional amendment that addresses reproductive rights.
“Since Roe [V Wade] was overturned, this matter has come back to the states, has come back to the people, has come back to be dealt with in the political process,” DeWine said.
On Nov. 7, voters will decide whether abortion should be legal to the point of fetal viability.
“This would make Ohio have one of the most liberal abortion laws in the country,” DeWine said. “We would be California; we would be New York State and that’s not where Ohioans are.”
Dr. Lauren Beene, Executive Director for Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights, disagreed with the idea that the amendment was extreme.
“It is a very common-sense, medically based amendment that really will just protect the rights we had under Roe [V Wade] for almost 50 years,” Beene said. “And it is in no way more extreme or radical than anything we are currently functioning under in the state of Ohio.”
But still, DeWine said it is an amendment he cannot get behind, he called it “radical.” And other state leaders like Secretary of State Frank Larose (R-Ohio) agree.
“Ohioans will see this for what it is,” LaRose said. “This is not a modest pro-choice amendment; this is the most extreme and it is too far.”
Lawmakers did pass a six-week abortion ban that went into effect when Roe V Wade was overturned but that’s currently held up in court. But DeWine said he thinks there will ultimately be an abortion policy that a majority of Ohioans like.
“It’s important that we keep that ultimate goal in mind, it may take a while,” DeWine said.
When asked what that policy would look like, DeWine said he thinks Ohioans should focus on one issue at a time.
“What’s clearly in front of us is a constitutional amendment and that has to be the focus,” DeWine said. “Once that is dealt with, whatever the results are, then we can deal with other things.”
Advocates for the abortion amendment said not to believe a middle ground is on the horizon.
“If we are not successful in November, if we do not protect our right to reproductive healthcare through this constitutional amendment, you better believe these extremists are going to come back and outlaw abortion,” Beene said.
While DeWine made it clear that he does not agree with the amendment, when asked whether voters would have the final word in November, he said we have to “play this out.”
If the abortion amendment does pass in November, it will take precedence over any law passed at the statehouse.