DeWine talks about Dobbs decision as Ohio's six-week abortion ban takes effect
But Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican and staunch anti-abortion politician, didn't talk about either of those in a five-minute statement Friday evening that aired on the Ohio Channel and other outlets statewide.
DeWine stressed the importance of keeping abortion protests civil and respectful, saying he knows the decision is "deeply troubling to many of you."
DeWine added, "It is going to be very easy to let this debate get rough and tough — and there is certainly nothing wrong with spirited debate. However, we must do it in a way that recognizes that smart, sincere, dedicated, and caring people can have very, very different and equally heartfelt views. The First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech — and those who choose to exercise that right — must be respected and must be protected."
DeWine said more than a billion state dollars have been invested in prenatal care, parenting classes, and other assistance. But he said more should be done to lower infant and maternal deaths, especially among African Americans, and that no mother or child should go hungry, live in inadequate housing, or suffer the effects of toxic lead paint exposure.
“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," DeWine said.
DeWine said he'll be working with state lawmakers and local communities "to improve the quality of pre- and post-natal care, to increase the frequency of maternal depression screenings, and to expand mental health resources for women who experience miscarriages." He also said he wants to work to increase adoption awareness and that "we will seek to expand healthcare coverage to more mothers and children."
Nan Whaley, Democratic nominee for Ohio governor who will be facing off against DeWine in the November election, fired back at her gubernatorial opponent and criticized the statewide address.
"Once again, Mike DeWine is attempting to falsely moderate his extreme positions in an attempt to win an election," Whaley said.
Whaley said DeWine is one of the most "anti-choice" governors in the country.
"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,” said Whaley.
The six-week abortion ban went into effect in Ohio after a federal judge ruled that the injunction, which was previously enforced on the law, be lifted. Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, filed paperwork in court Friday morning following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.