We are officially less than two weeks away from the May 3rd statewide primary.
Ohio Right to Life chooses to endorse in primary elections because voters should strive to protect unborn children in every single election. We have a rigorous endorsement process that includes issuing candidate surveys, interviewing candidates, and researching their pro-life stance. Both our PAC and our Board of Trustees meet to deliberate which candidate deserves the Ohio Right to Life endorsement. We understand the weight and importance of our endorsement both for the sake of our mission and for voters to choose the best candidate. We focus on the issues under the pro-life mantle, such as abortion and euthanasia. We do not endorse candidates that have abortion exceptions, such as rape and incest. We do not weigh in on other issues, such as COVID-19, although we certainly understand that this will impact voters’ decisions.
During this election cycle, we had lengthy interviews with gubernatorial candidates and US Senate candidates. We endorsed Mike DeWine because of his pro-life track record in office. As Attorney General, he opened an investigation regarding Planned Parenthood disposing of fetal remains in a landfill. As Governor, he signed SB 27 into law, which ensures unborn children are given a proper burial. One of his first acts as governor was to sign the Heartbeat bill (SB 23) into law. This December, he signed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act (SB 157) into law. Gov. DeWine has promised to sign the Human Life Protection Act (SB 123 and HB 598) into law, which will ban abortions in Ohio. With the state budget, he worked with legislators to provide funding to pregnancy centers and to protect the conscience rights of medical professionals, so they will not be required to perform abortions.
There has been some misinformation that Gov. DeWine allowed abortion clinics to remain open during the COVID pandemic. This simply is untrue. The Attorney General’s office even issued a letter to abortion clinics telling them to close. The first time a court placed a restraining order on the ban, the DeWine administration appealed the ruling. Ultimately, A federal judge ordered that the clinics be reopened.
Likewise, in a contested U.S. Senate race, we chose to endorse J.D. Vance. President Trump has also recently endorsed Vance. We understand that the top candidates in the race are pro-life. We believe that J.D. offers a fresh perspective on politics and can articulate the pro-life cause to a broader audience better than any other candidate. We also believe he could beat Tim Ryan in the general election.
Various pro-life groups throughout Ohio have endorsed different candidates, causing some confusion. However, Ohio Right to Life has proven itself to be the pro-life voice of the people election after election. We endorse candidates who continue to pass pro-life legislation that will protect the unborn. No other organization has a similar track record of making sure pro-life laws are enacted.
Additionally, abortion clinics are not operating under expired licenses. All abortion clinics are regulated as ambulatory surgical facilities (ASFs). Legally, while an ASF is undergoing the renewal application, they may continue to remain open even though their license has not officially been renewed. Unfortunately, this is also the case for abortion clinics. For abortion clinics, we often believe that their licenses appear to be expired because there are ongoing investigations or complaints that the Ohio Department of Health is addressing. The Department of Health can’t make these investigations or complaints public until they release their findings to the clinic. This is the standard operating procedure for all ASFs in the state. To be clear, all abortion clinics, just like all ASFs, are inspected annually and must go through the license renewal process annually.
For example, it appears Northeast Ohio Women’s Center in Cuyahoga Falls has an expired license from 2019. Last June, we found the remains of an aborted child in the clinic’s dumpster as well as other problematic items, such as prescription pads and confidential patient information. The Department of Health as well as other government agencies investigated the clinic thoroughly and fairly. Both Ohio Right to Life and Right to Life of Northeast Ohio have the documentation. The clinic was fined and they have to submit a plan of recourse to the state. Dr. Burkons is going to answer to the State Medical Board. ODH and other government agencies are holding abortion clinics accountable to the extent that the law allows.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. If you’ve gotten to this point, thanks for reading my lengthy email!
Mary M. Parker
Director of Legislative Affairs
Ohio Right to Life
Office: 614-547-0099 x 303