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Local and state leaders react to the Supreme Court's decision on Roe v. Wade

Supreme Court
Posted at 12:46 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 18:10:40-04

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, the ruling which legalized abortions. The decision paves the way for states to make their own laws regarding whether a woman can have an abortion.

In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine has said he is a "pro-life" governor, so abortion is likely to be banned in the Buckeye state. This isn't new — the state has been trying to ban abortion for decades, but continues to get blocked by the federal court.

In Kentucky, abortion became illegal the moment SCOTUS made their ruling. In 2019, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a trigger law that requires the state to immediately stop abortion services if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued a statement, declaring that he has been clear in stating he's "pro-life." Holcomb said he expects the General Assembly to address abortion during a special session on July 6.

In Cincinnati, Mayor Aftab Pureval and city leaders plan to announce legislation and new administrative policies to "ensure our city employees and their families have access to the medical care they deserve" on Monday morning, according to a press release.

Other local and state leaders throughout the Tri-State have also issued their own statements in reaction to the Supreme Court ruling:


Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval (D):

Cincinnati council member Greg Landsman (D):

Personal freedom is central to our democracy, and denying women the right to decide what happens to their own bodies is dangerous and will be deadly. This decision is an attack on women. In Ohio, there is an effort to ban abortion without exception for the life of the mother or rape. These measures have champions like Chabot, Schmidt, and Vance. Congress must act to codify the rights afforded for fifty years by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey so that women and children are guaranteed this basic, fundamental right.

Cincinnati council member Mark Jeffreys (D):

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R):

My fellow Ohioans, I fully understand that the Supreme Court’s decision today is deeply troubling to many of you. Those of you who are pro-choice believe this is a matter of freedom and this is a decision only the woman can make.

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.

Now, we all have friends and others close to us who we respect and who are on different sides of this issue. But whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, Republican or Democrat, we all need to be kind, civil and respect one another as we debate this issue.

Nan Whaley, Ohio Democrat candidate for governor:

This is no longer a hypothetical. Unfortunately for women in Ohio, the Court’s decision to strike down Roe means that Governor DeWine will move to criminalize abortion. That means women in Ohio will have the right to a safe and legal abortion taken away from them, even if their life is at risk or if they’ve been the victim of rape or incest. It’s exactly what Mike DeWine and the extremists in the Ohio Legislature want, and that’s unacceptable. 

“This election has never been more important. If DeWine is reelected, he’ll take Ohio women back to a time where abortion was criminalized and dangerous. The right to access a safe and legal abortion and reproductive care is on the ballot this November. Ohioans have an opportunity to elect a pro-choice governor who won’t interfere with a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted (R):

As we transition as a nation from Roe to Dobbs, we all need to do our best to understand and respect the heartfelt, genuine differences of opinions among our families, friends, neighbors and communities. Being an adoptee who started life in a foster home, my own experience helped shape my views on this issue. I’m here today because my birth mother chose life and put me up for adoption, which I know could not have been an easy decision for her. My prayer for all of us is this collective experience will build a more compassionate nation that values life.

Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman:

Today’s ruling is consistent with my view that policy questions regarding abortion should be decided by the elected representatives of the people, not the Supreme Court. Through its ruling today, the Court made this clear. The states already play a significant role in abortion policy, but have been constrained by various Supreme Court rulings. Now the issue of abortion will be decided by the states and the elected representatives closest to the people.

While abortion is a very sensitive and emotional issue with strong feelings on both sides, I think most Americans agree that human life is precious and should be protected wherever possible. To that end, we should do more to work together in a bipartisan manner to promote adoption, reduce the number of abortions, and provide support for pregnant women in difficult circumstances.

Democrat U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown:

For fifty years, women in America had the right to make their own personal health care decisions. Today, five judges handed that right over to politicians. This will be the first generation of women to grow up with fewer rights and freedoms than their mothers and grandmothers, and this burden will be disproportionately carried by low-income women and women of color. This is a radical decision by an increasingly out-of-touch court, and Americans won’t stand for it. When, how, and whether to have a family is one of the most personal and meaningful decisions we make in life, and the freedom to make those decisions for yourself, free from political interference, should be available to everyone. The president and Congress must take action restoring protections for women to make their own health choices, and women will make their voices heard in voting booths around Ohio and the country this November.

Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance:

Democrat Senate candidate Tim Ryan:

Today’s disastrous decision is the largest case of government overreach in my lifetime. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court is gutting a long-established right in order to put politicians between women and their doctors. Even worse, this ruling gives the green light to those here in Ohio who have introduced legislation that would deny women access to potentially lifesaving care, and threaten to put women and doctors in jail.

“We saw this coming, which is why as a member of Congress I’ve voted repeatedly to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, only to watch it die in the Senate along with so many other bills that would protect health care and help women and families. It’s clear the Senate is not working the way it’s supposed to and Ohio women will pay the price. It has never been more important that we expand our pro-choice majority, end the filibuster, and pass legislation to protect the fundamental right to an abortion.

Bob Paduchik, Ohio Republican Party chairman:

A grave injustice of judicial activism has been overturned, and the right to govern is restored to the people of Ohio []. This is a historic day for all Americans who worked for decades to defend unborn children.

Elizabeth Walters, Ohio Democratic Party chair:

Ohioans’ fundamental right to reproductive care, including abortion and birth control, is on the line in this year’s election. This disastrous decision lays squarely at the feet of Ohio Republicans - from J.D. Vance to Mike DeWine to extremists in the statehouse - who have spent years working to strip women of their basic rights and enacting new, cruel restrictions that would punish survivors of rape and incest. 

“It is critical that Ohioans elect Tim Ryan, Nan Whaley and pro-choice Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in November who will protect the right to abortion. We will continue to fight so that women can make these personal decisions with their doctors and without unwanted and unnecessary interference from politicians. This November, Ohioans will take their outrage to the polls and defeat the extremist Republicans who gutted our freedom to choose.

Rep. Warren Davidson (R):

Today, we celebrate a historic, and long overdue, win for the right to life movement. After nearly 50 years, the Supreme Court has once again recognized that the Constitution does not establish or defend a right to an abortion.

Since I swore my oath of office, I have worked to protect the most fundamental freedom: the right to life. I am overjoyed to see this outcome from SCOTUS! We should rejoice in this victory for the unborn. However, this court case is not the end of our efforts to protect the right to life, but it finally empowers them. It is now on states, and elected officials across the country, to pass laws that protect the most innocent and vulnerable among us.

Defending freedom always begins with defending life. I strongly support immediate implementation of Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill!


Governor Andy Beshear (D):

Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman (D):

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell:

Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R):

Today is a day that many have hoped for—the issue of abortion has been returned to the people and to the states, where it belongs. This moment deserves to be celebrated, but it also calls for renewed commitment. Renewed commitment to life-affirming care for the unborn, for mothers, and for Kentucky families.

Our General Assembly has already passed laws that protect unborn babies and ensure the health and safety of women. We’ve defended many of these pro-life laws in court, but the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe and Casey prevented some from taking effect. That changes today.

We are entering a new era. No longer will unelected judges make abortion policy for the Commonwealth. Instead, our elected representatives will be able to make public policy that reflects the values of Kentuckians and our deeply held respect for unborn life.

Together, we must commit ourselves to caring for the next generation of Kentuckians who will now have a chance to live their lives because Roe v. Wade is no more. Their lives, and those of their mothers and families, are precious and must be met with all the compassion, kindness, and care that we can provide.

Secretary of State Michael Adams:


Governor Eric Holcomb (R):

Roe v. Wade is overturned — What happens to Ohio?