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From 'positive step' to 'dangerous and chilling,' Cincinnati residents react to Roe v. Wade decision

 Autumn Ashford says hearing about the leaked draft opinion was heart-wrenching.
Becca Costello
Autumn Ashford says hearing about the leaked draft opinion was heart-wrenching.

Local organizations, officials, and residents have mixed reaction to the Supreme Court's decision Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade.

As NPR reports, the decision, most of which was leaked in early May, means that abortion rights will be rolled back in nearly half of the states immediately, with more restrictions likely to follow. For all practical purposes, abortion will not be available in large swaths of the country.

The Archbishop of Cincinnati, Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr calls the decision a "positive step toward a culture of life."

"I urge everyone in our archdiocese to both pray for and actively assist all expectant mothers," Schnurr said in a statement. "Together, let us redouble our commitment to caring for women, children and families so that abortion is not only illegal, but unthinkable."

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio CEO Iris Harvey says the decision is "dangerous and chilling" and could have devastating consequences in the state.

“Make no mistake – this decision goes beyond abortion. This is about who has power over you, who has the authority to make decisions for you, and who can control how your future is going to be," Harvey said in a statement. "Nevertheless, you can still seek an abortion in Ohio today. Our patients have and will remain our highest priority.”

Elected Officials

U.S. Senate

Democrat Sherrod Brown: "This is a radical decision by an increasingly out-of-touch court," Brown tweeted Friday. "When, how, and whether to have a family is one of the most personal and meaningful decisions we can make in life ... the President and Congress must take action to restore protections for women to make their own health choices."

Republican 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," Portman tweeted in a statement. "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."

Sen. Portman is not running for re-election. Republican candidate JD Vance praised the decision in a statement, saying it begins a new phase of the "pro-life" movement.

"Today is a great day," Vance said in a statement. "It vindicates a half century of work, and gives us an opportunity to live up our founding creed — that all of us are truly created equal."

Democratic candidate Tim Ryan says the decision is "the largest case of government overreach" in his lifetime.

"This ruling greenlights extreme proposals in Ohio that could jail doctors and deny women access to lifesaving care," Ryan said in a statement. "The only way forward is to expand our pro-choice majority."

U.S. House

Republican Rep. Steve Chabot has not issued a statement as of 12:15 p.m.

Greg Landsman is the Democrat challenging Chabot in the November election.

"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," Landsman said in a statement. "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."

Protests & Rallies

A protest condemning the Supreme Court decision is planned for Friday, June 24 at 6 p.m. in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse in Cincinnati.

Lebanon City Vice Mayor Adam Matthews will join a rally celebrating the decision on June 24 at 3 p.m. at the Ohio Capitol Building in Columbus.

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Becca Costello