COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Pro-choice advocates met in Columbus Wednesday for Freedom of Choice Ohio’s Advocacy Day.
The groups met in the morning at the Athenaeum for a keynote speaker and planned to head to the Statehouse at 1pm.
“We are concerned about the human right for people to have control of their bodies, their lives, their labor, their reproduction and their ability to form families,” said Jasmine Burnett, deputy director for New Voices for Reproductive Justice. “So we’re here today to let our legislators know what our issues are, how the barriers and restrictions are harmful.”
A ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy went into effect in Ohio in mid-March. Pro-life groups said in early April that they hoped to pass new bans on abortion during this legislative session.
Pro-choice advocates like Burnett disagree with the approach, saying that any restriction on abortion affects the rights of people to make decisions for themselves and their families.
“I think that legislators are not doctors,” Burnett said. “They are here to govern our state, and when you’re governing our state and you were put into that position by people who voted you into those offices, you should be accountable to your constituents. And if your constituents are saying that what they need is reproductive access, who are you to deny them that?”
Burnett said her group polled the black community in northeast Ohio and said that close to 90 percent believe in the right to have access to abortion, regardless of whether they believed in it or not.
“When you have the people speaking and understanding what they feel is best for their lives and their families and their communities, it really flies in the face of what the legislators feel in terms of their own personal imperatives around being anti-choice,” Burnett said.