Journal content

Senator Rob Portman opposes national abortion ban

The following article was originally published on News5Cleveland.com and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets because it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.

US Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, opposes the 15-week nationwide abortion ban proposed in Congress.

On Thursday, the Republican told OCJ/WEWS that South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s legislation would not have his support going forward.

“Abortion is a very sensitive and emotional issue with strong feelings on both sides and should therefore be decided by the elected representatives of the people,” Portman said. “Through its Dobbs judgment, the Supreme Court made this clear. I believe it was the right decision and now our elected leaders in the states will make the decisions on this matter.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader and Republican of Kentucky, agrees with Portman’s sentiment, according to the New York Times.

The anti-abortion legislation has quickly divided the GOP, many of whom are apparently trying to downplay their support for abortion restrictions due to backlash and increased voter registration. But it’s not just Republicans in the Senate. For example, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine cleaned up his campaign website of anything related to abortion.

Pro-choice Ohioans cheer after a state judge temporarily blocked Ohio’s ban on virtually all abortions on Wednesday.

Hamilton County Democratic Judge Christian Jenkins’ decision to grant a 14-day restraining order against the law is part of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Ohio on behalf of abortion providers in the state. The clinics argue that the law violates state Constitution protections guaranteeing individual liberty and equal protection.

The decision means that abortions up to 20 weeks gestation, about 22 weeks after the last menstrual period, can continue for now, under state law in effect before the ban.

RELATED: Judge temporarily blocks Ohio law banning most abortions after six weeks

“I think most Americans agree that human life is precious and should be protected whenever possible,” Portman added. “To that end, we must do more to work together in a bipartisan way to promote adoption, reduce the number of abortions and support pregnant women in difficult situations.

Depending on how Jenkins governs in the coming weeks, a nationwide 15-week abortion ban would not affect Ohio — since the 6-week abortion ban that took effect after Dobbs’ cancellation is stricter. However, a “no” vote from Portman could prevent other states close to Ohio from being restricted.

If Jenkins continues to speak out in support of abortion clinics and the ACLU, the nationwide ban could impact Ohio, if passed.

The probability of this death is slim, since Senator Chuck Schumer, Majority Leader and Democrat of New York, would not talk about it. But, it begs the question of why it was proposed. Some analysts say it could be Graham trying to unite his base or give his pro-life voters some hope.

It could also be a tactic for other Republicans to deny it, trying to change the narrative that Republicans believe in national oversight and make it seem “reasonable” to moderate voters, an analyst told News 5.

Follow WEWS Statehouse reporter Morgan Trau on Twitter and Facebook.

Get morning headlines delivered to your inbox