Last March Attorney General Mike DeWine brought Ohio into a money-wasting lawsuit to challenge contraceptive and family planning provisions in new federal healthcare regulations. Eric correctly pointed out that DeWine was not actually representing the people of Ohio, instead using his position to inject his own political and religious beliefs into what should be the most secular and non-political office in the state.
Records obtained from the AG’s office backed up this claim, showing that no Ohioans asked DeWine to join the lawsuit and, in fact, many were quite angry that he did. Ohioans wrote to DeWine telling him to “Leave women’s bodies and choices alone!” and to “Stop trying to destroy the separation of church and state” and to “do the job you were elected to do -enforcing the laws of the state of Ohio” and reminding Mr. DeWine that “No one elected you to force others to adhere to your personal beliefs.”
DeWine didn’t get the message.
Last week he did it again, joining other Republican Attorneys General in sending a letter urging the Obama Administration to restrict access to contraception for Ohio’s women by allowing any employer to opt out of paying for contraceptive coverage.
As Luke correctly pointed out last week, DeWine has a long history of proposing and supporting legislation and rules that shame women seeking contraception or abortion care, and his latest ‘opt-out’ proposal is no exception.
If DeWine had his way, medical decisions would be taken our of the hands of a woman and her doctor, and entrusted to her employer. Women would be forced into the ridiculous position of asking their employers for permission to access common and perfectly legal medical treatments.
DeWine spent his legislative career attempting to restrict women’s access to medical treatments – and he’s now unapologetically using the Ohio Attorney General’s office for the same purpose.
DeWine’s religious beliefs have even impacted the AG’s website, with over 25% of his official Attorney General biography dedicated to his extreme anti-abortion history, as though spending 30 years fighting against women’s rights is some sort of qualification for Ohio’s top lawyer.
As we watch DeWine shift into campaign mode, I still find it amazing that he’s chosen to make the Steubenville rape trial into his unofficial campaign theme. Didn’t Republicans learn their lesson last time around?
At the height of last year’s Republican Presidential Primary, DeWine proudly endorsed the most extreme, anti-woman candidate in the Republican field, Rick Santorum. Santorum doesn’t believe in abortion exceptions for rape or incest. Rick Santorum thinks rape babies are a gift from God.
DeWine thinks he can have it both ways. He thinks he can come out acting tough on rapists, without actually fielding questions about the aftermath of rape. I think Mike DeWine is in for a rude awakening when reporters start asking him questions like:
- Does he believe victims of rape can get pregnant?
- Does he believe victims of rape should be forced to have their attacker’s child?
- Does he believe rape babies are a gift from God?
- Does he believe rape victims should have access to emergency contraception?
While we appreciate DeWine’s tough-on-rapists stance, that’s only half of the equation. We look forward to hearing his answers on the whole issue.