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NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Condemns Anti-Choice Group for Promoting False Facts to Help Anti-Choice Candidates
Cleveland, OH – Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, blasted Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis for making blatantly false claims that no Ohio women received abortion care last year due to rape or incest or to save their lives.
Just days after telling the Columbus Dispatch that "Victims of rape are being used as political footballs this election cycle, and it should stop.” Ohio Right to Life President politicized rape himself during an interview with Ohio Public Radio. Gonidakis said,
"… according to the Ohio Department of Health, not one abortion last year, and the report just came out a few weeks ago, not one abortion was due to rape, incest, or the life of the mothers.”
The report, issued annually by the Ohio Department of Health, does not gather data regarding the reasons that Ohio women choose abortion care. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, rape is one of the most underreported violent crimes.
Dr. Lisa Perriera, a practicing OB/Gyn in the Cleveland area said, "I have absolutely done abortions in the last year for rape, incest, and threat to maternal life. I have also performed abortions for women that cannot afford to have another child or want to finish their education. My opinion is that lawmakers have no business interfering with the doctor patient relationship. Abortion is basic healthcare for women and it is my moral obligation as a physician to provide that service safely.”
"Ohio Right to Life says no Ohio women chose abortion care last year following rape or incest, or to save their lives. That is simply not true. But that should come as no surprise because last year they helped pass two laws restricting abortion access without exceptions for rape or incest survivors,” Copeland said. "They know their policies and their candidates are so far out of the mainstream that they need to create fake ‘facts’ to convince Ohio voters to support them. Well it won’t work. Ohioans see through these shady election tactics.”
Ohio Right to Life has endorsed presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney, his running mate Congressman Paul Ryan, U.S. Senate hopeful Treasurer Josh Mandel and numerous candidates for the Ohio Statehouse. All of these candidates support overturning Roe v. Wade, and many are so extreme that they do not support exceptions even in the cases of rape, incest.
Copeland continues, "Ohio women voters may well decide who will be president of the United States for the next four years and the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. Anti-choice extremists who are desperate to win those races and seize control of the U.S. Supreme Court will say anything to cover up their true agenda which is to outlaw abortion in our country without exception. We have a special obligation to know where candidates stand on women’s fundamental rights, and vote accordingly.”
Contact: Kellie Copeland at (216) 283-2180
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, 12000 Shaker Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44120
Kellie Copeland, Executive Director