We’ve all heard the saying: Right To Life believes that life begins at conception and ends at birth.
That mindset was reinforced today when Ohio Right to Life came out against the ballot issue that would no longer let politicians draw their own legislative and congressional district. That task would be turned over to an independent citizens committee. It will appear as Issue 2 on the November ballot.
If you care about education, the economy, health care or any other of the great issues of the day, you should vote YES on Issue 2. It will result in a better caliber of senators and representatives who would no longer be able to draw districts in a way that all-but-guarantees the party in power stays in power.
Ohio RTL likes the system because today’s legislators have launched unprecedented efforts to limit women’s health care options, including measures designed to ban all abortions – even in cases of rape or incest. The anti-women bills come as polls show 71% of Ohioans believe abortion should be legal under some circumstances.
But to get elected as a Republican these days, one must embrace an extreme position on abortion. Since Republicans hold a majority in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate, Republicans control the flawed process of making the maps. Which means Ohio is a state where the vast majority of voters support abortion rights but the vast majority of elected representatives do not.
The anti-choice crowd has been having a bad week. Kellie Copeland, who heads NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, explained it nicely in today’s release responding the RTL.
“I don’t know what’s worse, Ohio Right to Life admitting that the only way they can pass anti-choice legislation is with a legislature stacked full of extremists who were elected from gerrymandered districts, or that they made this announcement today to try to deflect attention away from the firestorm around Rep. Akin’s despicable comments about rape victims. Either way, Ohio Right to Life is admitting that their goal to outlaw abortion without exceptions—even for rape victims—is completely out of touch with Ohio values,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.
“Since the 2010 elections, Governor Kasich and Ohio Right to Life’s cronies in the Statehouse have conducted a relentless war on women passing legislation that bans later term abortion care without an exception for rape or incest. They have also blocked efforts to pass the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act which would require Ohio hospitals to provide rape victims with emergency contraception to help prevent pregnancies as a result of rape. Anti-choice politicians like Governor Kasich and Rep. Akin are dangerous to women’s health.”
While embattled Rep. Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin was in Ohio working with Governor Kasich’s media consultant Rex Elsass yesterday, trying to save his campaign by running away from his comments, the Republican Party was busy voting on the planks for their convention platform, including one on abortion that embraced Akin’s beliefs by providing no exception for rape or incest.
Many Republicans, including Mitt Romney, tried to distance themselves from Akin by attacking his comments, but it’s important to note that Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan cosponsored a bill with Akin that sought to redefine rape and remove benefits from women who weren’t “forcibly” (or “legitimately” as Akin would say) raped. Eleven Ohio Republican Congressmen and women – the same legislators who benefit from the gerrymandered districts ORL supports – voted for the bill.