CINCINNATI — Greater Cincinnati Right to Life and Ohio Planned Parenthood took to their own respective stages Friday to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the ruling which legalized abortions.
The decision came in a case about Mississippi’s abortion law, Dobbs v. Jackson, which sought to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
With Friday’s decision, states can now make their own laws regarding whether a woman can have an abortion.
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"With the court's decision, we see an end to the federal law that permitted the poisoning, starvation and dismemberment of almost 65 million pre-born American children through all nine months of gestation," Laura Strietmann, executive director of Greater Cincinnati Right to Life, said during a Friday afternoon press conference.
Strietmann said Right to Life is comprised of people of many different faiths, including some who are secular and don't ascribe to a particular religion. The decision handed down by the Supreme Court on Friday is one for which members of Right to Life organizations across the country have been fighting.
"This is a day for great celebration," Strietmann said. "We must now turn our efforts to protecting the unborn state by state."
Strietman said Right to Life and abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood both seek to help women, but disagree that access to abortion is something that helps women.
"Abortion has hurt our country and that is the truth and we stand on truth and we stand on prayer," she said.
Representatives with Planned Parenthood in Cincinnati pointed out that abortion is still currently legal in Ohio.
"For the last decade, Ohio politicians have been enacting restrictions that have in one way or another targeted abortion," said Iris Harvey, president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio.
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Kersha Deibel, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, said over 80% of Americans support access to legal abortion and that the organization's goal is to ensure patients receive the greatest care possible no matter what. Deibel said one in four women will have an abortion in their life.
"This is not new to us," she said. "While this is devastating, gut-wrenching, this is not new."
Dr. Anita Somani, OBGyN in Columbus with OhioHealth spoke alongside Planned Parenthood, saying the main way to prevent abortion is by providing proper contraception for everyone.
"We are here to care for patients, not to debate the politics," said Somani.
She said medically, there are nuances to figuring out when the life of a pregnant mother is in jeopardy and current laws being passed to ban abortion in states don't provide the necessary nuance.
Harvey also said there is a range of ways to prevent pregnancy, urging patients to still seek out their local Planned Parenthood to get the care they need, regardless of whether they have insurance.
Harvey said the organization's top strategy now will be to ensure patients understand Planned Parenthood's doors will stay open to provide health care.
"We need to focus on all of those that are precious to us and how to protect them," said Harvey.
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