Roe vs. Wade overturned: What will the impact be in the Miami Valley
Leaders of the only Dayton area abortion clinic said they're scared how people will be affected by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade and expect an influx of patients from other states.
Anti-abortion protestors outside the clinic in Kettering celebrated the decision.
The Women's Med Center of Dayton President Dr. Martin Haskell said in a statement to WYSO that the Supreme Court decision will "relegate women to a subservient position in society, denying them control over their own bodies."
The center expects an influx of patients from Kentucky and other states where abortion became illegal today because of those states' so called trigger laws. Haskell also said the clinic will continue providing abortions for as long as they remain legal in Ohio and Indiana.
Dr. Catherine Romanos from The Women's Med Center of Dayton said she's scared about how the ruling will affect people.
"I am really, really scared for people that already have a hard time getting to me, who can’t take time out to travel, who can’t pay for an abortion and don’t know where to turn," she said. "I’m afraid that they’re going to do unsafe things. I’m afraid they’re going to end up in jail, and I don’t think anyone should be punished for trying to claim their bodily autonomy and have a family when they’re ready to have a family."
Kettering resident Vivian Skovgard has come to the clinic almost every day for 29 years, stopping patients in the parking lot before they go into the clinic. She offers to pray with them and tries to talk them out of getting an abortion.
She is happy about the supreme court's decision.
"But I will be very, very happy when Ohio says abortion is illegal and when the United States of America says not in this country — then I will be very overjoyed."
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, urged protestors to remain civil and respectful.
Democratic candidate for governor, Nan Whaley, said polls have consistently shown that Ohio "is a pro-choice state."
"Today’s extreme court decision does not reflect the will of the vast majority of Ohioans," she said.
The former Dayton mayor also criticized DeWine.
"Let me be crystal clear. If Mike DeWine is reelected, abortion is going to be banned in Ohio, and women and their doctors will be sent to jail," Whaley said.
DeWine said more than $1 billion in state money has been invested in prenatal care, parenting classes and other assistance, but more should be done to lower infant and maternal deaths, especially among African Americans, and that he wants to promote adoption awareness and expand health care to more mothers and children.
“I’ve directed our state health and human service agencies to bring me innovative new ideas for ensuring that vulnerable mothers are immediately identified and always taken care of.”
Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland called the ruling a gut punch.
"We fought for so long to prevent today from happening," Copeland said. "Even after the leak and knowing it was coming, it still lands because we know so many people are scared and confused, and people are going to be hurt."
Copeland called on Ohioans who disagree with the ruling to fight by electing pro-choice candidates in November.
State Sen. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, is a physician and chair of the Senate Health Committee. He celebrated the ruling and said the work continues.
"My strong Catholic faith, combined with thirty years as a practicing physician, drives my belief that every life should be valued ... Of all of my legislative accomplishments, I am most proud of the work we have done in Ohio to protect life and I remain committed to doing so," Huffman said.
Additional reaction from state and local leaders:
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio
“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.”
Desiree Tims, president and CEO of progressive think tank Innovation Ohio
"Today, the unthinkable occurred. The conservative-controlled U.S. Supreme Court ignored decades of precedent and overturned Roe v. Wade. They ended federal protection for abortion rights. Dozens of states — including Ohio — will likely now ban all abortion without any exemptions, including rape or incest. Ohio's Republican supermajority will have the power to force its residents to give birth when they become pregnant. For the time being, abortion remains LEGAL in Ohio. Down ballot races have never been more important. We must vote in every single election, especially for state Supreme Court candidates. Ohio's Supreme Court will likely now decide the future of abortion rights in our communities.”
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio
“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. 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.”
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."