Ohio Senate candidates weigh in on SCOTUS draft opinion


(NewsNation) — One Senate hopeful in Ohio called the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade “terrifying,” while another said it is a “victory for life.”

Democrat Morgan Harper and Republican Jane Timken are both running for election to the U.S. Senate, with Ohio’s primary elections taking place Tuesday night.

Harper, a consumer protection attorney, said she’s already heard from people all over the state concerned about the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft opinion because of the “already radicalized” state legislature.

On the other hand, Timken said, as a candidate who opposes abortion, ” the draft opinion was a victory, though she still called the leak a “breach on the Supreme Court’s trust.”

Other Republicans, according to The Hill, have also spoken out against the leak itself, even as they agree with the ruling. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., called it an attempt by the left to intimidate the Supreme Court.

Ohio lawmakers, Harper said, have been pushing to restrict abortion in ways even more extreme than the controversial bans in Texas and Florida.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, some of the restrictions Ohio has placed on abortion include:

  • having health plans offered in the state’s health exchange under the Affordable Care Act cover only abortions in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest;
  • requiring consent of parents before a minor is provided with an abortion
  • requiring patients to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion;
  • a ban on the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy, before many women realize they’re pregnant.

Like Ohio, Texas also has a six-week abortion ban, while Florida’s 15-week ban was enacted in April.

“They are moving to become extremely, extremely limited in our ability to be able to access this key type of health care,” Harper said.

Current Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who is running for U.S. Senate, also criticized Ohio’s abortion restrictions.

“Overturning Roe would be absolutely wrong,” Ryan said on Twitter. “Republicans have introduced one extreme proposal after another to ban abortion before most women even know they’re pregnant.”

A risk the country is now facing, Harper said, is that the Supreme Court will continue to strip away other rights and protections, such as civil rights or voting rights. This is something President Joe Biden also suggested when speaking to reporters Tuesday, saying the overturn of Roe v. Wade threatens other “basic rights” such as marriage and access to birth control.

Timken pushed back on Harper’s and Ryan’s suggestion that Ohio’s restrictions on abortion are “extreme.”

“Ohioans have made their choice to support pro-life candidates and support a pro-life legislature,” Timken said. “I think that we have a movement behind us in the pro-life movement, strongly supporting life.”

Another U.S. Senate candidate in Ohio, Republican Mike Gibbons, said on NewsNation’s “Morning in America” that the overturn of Roe v. Wade is something he’s been waiting for “for a long time.”

“I think life is protected from conception, and I’ve always felt that way,” Gibbons said. “And, frankly, I’m encouraged by finally, an accurate assessment by the Supreme Court.”

Three Democrats — Harper, Ryan and Traci Johnson — are running in Tuesday’s Ohio Senate primary. The Republican race is more crowded, with Gibbons, Timken, Matt Dolan, Josh Mandel, Neil Patel, Mark Pukita and J.D. Vance all vying for the position.

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