Government

Ryan Opposes Abortion Bills with Petition, Fundraising

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, a relatively recent convert to the pro-choice position on abortion rights, is parlaying his opposition to the extremely restrictive bills passed last week by the Ohio Legislature into a petition campaign and a fundraising drive.

In an email Saturday from his congressional campaign committee, Ryan called on his supporters to sign “our petition demanding Gov. Kasich veto this attack on women’s health care immediately.”

The email contains links to the petition drive as well as to where supporters can donate to Tim Ryan for Congress.

As of this posting, Kasich has not acted on the legislation.

Abortion rights are likely to be at the forefront of the 2018 gubernatorial election and Ryan said two weeks ago, when he lost his bid to unseat Nancy Pelosi as House minority leader, that he is considering whether to become a candidate.

On Friday, Ryan’s congressional press office issued the second statement in two days that called on Kasich to veto legislation that bans abortion after 20 weeks into pregnancy. On Thursday, his press office released a statement that urged Kasich to veto legislation that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically after six weeks. Federal courts have ruled unconstitutional similar legislation enacted in Arkansas and North Datota.

“I’m appalled that for the second time in two days I am forced to call on Gov. Kasich to veto legislation that strips reproductive health rights away from Ohio women and families,” Ryan said Friday in the statement issued by his congressional office. “The Republican-led Ohio legislature knows that these measures are unconstitutional. They know these bills will make it harder for Ohioans to get the coverage they need. Yet they continue to take away the rights of families across our great state, while giving the government the final say in important health care decisions. We need to trust women and families – not politicians – to make the best decisions for their lives.”

Ryan’s email message to his supporters from his campaign committee suggests the abortion issue also has an economic component. “Instead of working to create jobs here in Ohio,” he said, “GOP extremists in the legislature are waging a dangerous and unconstitutional attack on women’s health care.”

The message contains two links to the petition campaign launched by his campaign committee and ends with a “contribute” block in red capital letters, which leads to a donation screen that asks, “Will you chip [in] to help Tim keep up the fight?”

Under federal election law, money raised by an individual’s congressional campaign committee can be used to fund other political contests.

According to Federal Election Commission records Ryan’s committee had a cash balance of $202,718 as of Nov. 28.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.