DeWine urges Ohioans to find common ground as abortion debate returns

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said how Ohioans debate the abortion issue is important after the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday returned abortion law and policy to the state level.

“Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, Republican or Democrat, we all need to be kind and civil and respect one another as we debate this issue,” DeWine said during a Friday evening address regarding the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned landmark Roe v. Wade.

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“My purpose tonight is not to debate the merits of this decision — there will be plenty of time to do this in the days and weeks ahead — but I have two reasons for talking with you tonight:

“First, I think it’s important that as we discuss the abortion issue we in Ohio do it in a civil way and recognize that there are people of goodwill on both sides who have strongly and honestly held beliefs.

“Second, I want to talk about the work that needs to be done to better support children and families and the common ground that we as Ohioans share,” he said.

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Democratic gubernatorial nominee and former Dayton mayor Nan Whaley released a statement following the Republican governor’s address, calling DeWine “one of the most anti-choice governors in the country.”

“Once again, Mike DeWine is attempting to falsely moderate his extreme positions in an attempt to win an election. … Abortion is on the ballot in Ohio this November and no matter how much DeWine tries to spin the need for ‘a civil discussion,’ voters won’t forget his actions when it came to failing to protect women’s rights.”

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DeWine said his administration already is investing more than $1 billion to provide prenatal care, parenting classes, mentoring, education and nutrition assistance to pregnant mothers and their families.

The governor said he has asked state health and human services agencies for innovative ideas to identify and help vulnerable mothers and said he will be working with state lawmakers and local communities to improve pre- and post-natal care, increase maternal depression screenings and expand mental health resources for woman who experience miscarriages.

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He also said his administration will work on efforts to increase awareness about adoption and to expand health care coverage to more mothers and children.

“My fellow Ohioans, I ask you tonight to pull together. Let us have our debate about abortion. Let us do it civilly, let us respect each other, and let us concede that the other side is sincere in their beliefs.”

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