By Dave Andrusko
Reading news that the abortion rate in Ohio continues its downward trend raises your spirits. But if, on November 7, the citizens of The Buckeye State vote in favor of Issue 1 (“The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety”), this ballot initiative will enshrine the right to abortion into Ohio’s state constitution.
First, the good news as reported by Julie Washington for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The number of abortions in Ohio fell by 15% from 2021 to 2022 — the year that the state passed short-lived abortion restrictions that was put on hold by the courts — according to the state’s annual report released Friday.
The drop in abortions continued a generally downward slide that began in 2000, but dropped off sharply in 2022.
The number of abortions dropped from 21,813 in 2021 to 18,488 abortions in 2022—meaning 3,325 babies were saved—according to the recently released report from the Ohio Department of Health. The abortion rate in Ohio for 2022 was 7.8 per 1,000 resident women ages 15-44 years old. In 2021, the rate was 9.3.
“While it is good to see the abortion rate steadily declining in the state of Ohio, we believe that every life is a precious gift from God, which begins at conception and ends with natural death,” Mary von Carlowitz, director of the office for human life at the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, told Washington.
“That’s why we want women who are experiencing unplanned or challenging pregnancies to know of the many programs and services we offer to support them before, during and after delivery.”
Even pro-abortionists, such as Dr. Marcela Azevedo, spokesperson for Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, conceded Ohio’s Heartbeat Law had an impact in keeping the death toll down.
Writing for the Dayton Daily News, Samantha Wildow observed “For approximately 11 weeks following the end of Roe v. Wade, Ohio was under a six-week abortion ban in 2022, likely contributing to the 15% decline the state saw for abortions last year.”
Imagine how much greater the reduction would have been had Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christian Jenkins not placed a preliminary injunction on SB 23, later turned into an indefinite injunction. Jenkins wrote, “Abortion is safe health care to which Ohioans have a right.”
Attorney General Dave Yost requested that the 1st District Court of Appeals overturn the ruling; when they declined, he asked the state Supreme Court to step in. “They agreed to consider two legal issues: Jenkins’ order blocking the heartbeat law, and whether or not abortion facilities have legal standing to challenge the law on behalf of their patients,” according to Cassy Fiano-Chesse.
Finally, Wildow wrote that “The vast majority of reported abortions were obtained in six major metropolitan areas of Ohio in the counties of Cuyahoga (29.9%), Montgomery (17.3%), Hamilton (16.9%), Summit (15.2%), Franklin (14.9%), and Lucas (5.8%), according to the Ohio Department of Health.
“Clearly, Montgomery County has become a major abortion hub for Southwest Ohio,” Margie Christie, executive director of Dayton Right to Life, told Wildow. “Over 60 babies are killed by ‘choice’ every week in our community. The loss of these children is tragic for their families and detrimental to our society as a whole. The passage of Issue 1 will increase these numbers substantially and Ohio’s women and children will be at even greater risk.”