By Lindsay Apperson
As we approach the 2016 elections, as always, all eyes are on Ohio. This time around, former Democratic Governor Ted Strickland is fighting incumbent Senator Rob Portman for Ohio’s up-for-grabs Senate seat. In recent years, Ohio has become a battleground for hot-button issues, including abortion access.
Up until last week, Rob Portman supported Trump as the GOP presidential nominee. Portman backed Trump as he accused Mexican immigrants of being rapists, suggested that “Second Amendment People” could act against Hillary, and called women bimbos, pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals. His support never wavered as Trump refused to condemn his neo-Nazi supporters, attacked former Miss Universe Alicia Machado over her weight, and said women should be punished for having an abortion.
It was not until the release of tapes that exposed Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women that Rob Portman finally withdrew his support. And just when we thought he had found an inkling of a conscience, Portman announced that he would instead write in anti-choice crusader and Trump running mate Mike Pence for president on November 8.
Pence’s war on women in Indiana and around the country is no secret. He has spearheaded the fight against Planned Parenthood, signed a law to require women to hold funerals for fetuses after abortion or miscarriage, fought contraceptive access for low-income women, and is singlehandedly responsible for an HIV outbreak in his own state. This is the kind of man Portman finds fit for President of the United States. Despite his attempts to convince voters otherwise, the self-proclaimed “common sense conservative” Portman poses as big a threat to women in Ohio as the Republican presidential ticket does for the entire country.
Portman has a history of voting against women’s rights.
The people of Ohio know Rob Portman’s spiel. They’ve watched him dance around the topic of the Republican presidential ticket, evade commentary on Trump’s hateful speech and fearmongering, and incessantly claim to be the best choice for Ohioans.
A quick look at the facts shows what Portman’s priorities really are. Though he has tried to distance himself from Trump’s misogyny, Portman has been at the forefront of attempts to curtail women’s reproductive rights. Recently, Portman sponsored a 20-week abortion ban that, if implemented, would put women in the horrific position of having to carry unviable pregnancies to term.
He also voted against providing family planning funding for women abroad. Portman can shy away from his support of Trump, but he cannot deny his own dismal voting record.
Rob Portman may condemn Trump’s disgusting and misogynistic behavior, but ultimately, his own politics hurt women in Ohio, the United States, and around the globe. In Portman’s ideal world, thousands of Ohioan women would be left without the crucial reproductive health services provided by Planned Parenthood. Women across the United States would be denied their constitutional right to abortion. International family planning programs would lose all U.S. funding, threatening the lives of millions of women around the world.
Ohio deserves better.
Rob Portman continuously undermines the rights of his constituents to promote his own anti-choice agenda. Portman, like Trump, Pence, and fellow anti-women crusaders, poses an imminent danger to women in the United States and around the world.
Fortunately, Portman’s challenger, Democrat Ted Strickland, is a proven and outspoken ally for women. Strickland is committed to defending women’s right to abortion and reproductive health services. He has stood up for women and families of Ohio as Governor, and will do the same as Senator. With Republican candidates working diligently to strip women’s constitutional rights, it’s clear that we need to do everything we can to defeat Rob Portman.
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