COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine issued an on-camera statement regarding Friday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, effectively eliminating the constitutional right to abortion.
“My purpose tonight is not to debate the merits of this decision. There will be plenty of time to do this in the days and weeks ahead,” DeWine said. “I think it’s important as we discuss the abortion issue we in Ohio do it in a civil way and recognize there are people of good will on both sides who have strongly and honestly held beliefs.”
Shortly after DeWine spoke, Attorney General Dave Yost announced the heartbeat bill has become law in the state, which bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. A heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into the pregnancy.
The decision reached in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned two cases that set the standard for abortion access in the country for nearly 50 years: the 1973 ruling Roe v. Wade and the 1992 ruling Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The former determined a constitutional right to abortion, and the latter deemed illegal any restrictions on abortion that constituted an “undue burden” on a patient seeking an abortion prior to a fetus’ viability.
There are two “trigger bills” that have been introduced in the Ohio Statehouse. Should one of those bills be approved by both the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives and signed by DeWine, abortion would become illegal in Ohio. DeWine did not address those “trigger bills” but did reinforce his longstanding stance against abortion.
“Those of you who are pro-choice believe this is a matter of freedom and as a decision only the woman can make,” DeWine said. “Those who are pro-life, including my wife Fran and me, believe that the life of a human being is at stake and we have an obligation to protect that innocent life.”
DeWine focused a large portion of his statement discussing how Ohio should help children and families in a Post-Roe era.
“Though we’ve made progress, we agree that we must do even more to lower our infant and maternal mortality, especially among African American mothers and babies,” DeWine said. “Through our ‘Bold Beginning’ initiative, Ohio is already investing more than $1 billion dollars to provide prenatal care, parenting classes, mentoring, education, and nutrition assistance to pregnant mothers and their families,” he said. “But there is so much more to be done. And so I ask you my fellow Ohioans to work together with me to focus on these issues and commit ourselves to the health and success of Ohio families.