Ohioans have greater hopes of protecting unborn babies from abortion after voters elected Republicans to all three open state Supreme Court seats on Tuesday.
NPR affiliate WOSU reports Republican Sharon Kennedy won the race for chief justice, beating Democrat Jennifer Brunner and paving the way for a 5-2 conservative majority on the court.
Republicans Pat Fischer and Pat DeWine also defeated Democrat candidates Terri Jamison and Marilyn Zayas for two open associate justice seats, according to unofficial election results.
“Ohio is a pro-life state, which is proven time and time again every election,” said Elizabeth Whitmarsh, director of communications for Ohio Right to Life. “In the face of the many allegations that ‘Ohio is pro-choice,’ Ohioans boldly proclaimed that we stand for life. Therefore, the radical abortion-on-demand platform has no place in the Buckeye state.”
One of the biggest cases headed to the Ohio Supreme Court is pro-abortion groups’ challenge to the state heartbeat law, which bans abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable. A Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas judge blocked enforcement of the law in September.
The pro-life law has the potential to save tens of thousands of babies’ lives. From June to August while the law was in effect, abortions dropped 65 percent in Ohio, representing about 2,470 unborn babies’ lives, according to a new study, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported earlier this month.
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The election results mean there will be a vacant spot on the court, one that Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to fill with a Republican. According to WOSU, Kennedy currently serves as an associate justice on the court, so her seat will be open when she takes on the chief justice role in January.
“It is morning again at the Ohio Supreme Court,” Kennedy told supporters in Columbus after learning of her victory, WOSU reports.
Pro-life Republicans also won a number of state races Tuesday, and J.D. Vance won the open U.S. Senate seat, defeating pro-abortion Democrat Tim Ryan.
According to Ohio Right to Life, pro-life candidates won every state-wide race and retained a solid majority in the Ohio General Assembly with more than 60 seats in the House and 30 in the Senate.
“Knowing that the pro-life movement won such decisive victories tonight should motivate us all to move swiftly to end abortion from conception by the end of this year. Abortion has no place here in Ohio, and it is time to put a stop to it,” Whitmarsh said.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, also celebrated the Ohio results as a victory for the future of unborn babies.
“The Heartbeat Law, which would save thousands of children from abortion, is currently being held hostage by the Ohio State Supreme Court. That could all change tonight!” she wrote on Twitter.
Polls consistently show a strong majority of Americans support legal protections for unborn babies, especially after the first trimester or once their heartbeat is detectable. A recent poll found Ohioans support the heartbeat law.
In 2020, there were 20,605 abortions reported in Ohio.
Currently, 13 states are enforcing pro-life laws that prohibit or strictly limit the killing of unborn babies in abortions, and others, including Ohio, are fighting in court to do the same.
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