In the state of Ohio pro-life Sen. Rob Portman has defeated his pro-abortion rival Ted Strickland. Portman, who holds a 100% rating with National Right to Life, faced pro-abortion former Governor Ted Strickland.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, enthusiastically endorsed Strickland. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards tweeted, “So proud that @PPact has endorsed @Ted_Strickland to be the next US Senator from Ohio!”
Strickland replied that he was “honored” to be endorsed by the abortion provider and vowed to “stand up to attacks on reproductive healthcare.”
By stark contrast, Portman voted in favor of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would protect unborn babies from abortions after 20 weeks, a point by which science shows they have the capacity to experience pain. He is also a cosponsor of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would enact an explicit requirement that a baby born alive during an abortion must be afforded “the same degree” of care that would apply “to any other child born alive at the same gestational age,” including transportation to a hospital.
Portman also voted to redirect federal funds from Planned Parenthood. Portman told Fox News host Neil Cavuto, “Taxpayer dollars should not be going to Planned Parenthood. I think our legislation makes a lot of sense. It says, not only do you not send taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, but those tax dollars instead go to community health centers — there are a lot more of them than Planned Parenthood clinics; eight times more in the state of Ohio for instance — and they can provide the women’s health needs that are legitimate, that are needed.”
Earlier this year, Strickland came to Planned Parenthood’s defense when state lawmakers passed legislation to deny state funding to the abortion provider. Ironically, he claimed in a statement that Planned Parenthood clinics in Ohio are “providing vital, life-saving healthcare services.” Nowhere in his statement did he mention Planned Parenthood’s number one money-maker: abortion, the “service” that violently ends the lives of unborn babies through a variety of methods including brutal dismemberment.
A huge issue in Senate races across the country is the future of the United States Supreme Court. The Ohio race is no different. In Strickland, abortion advocates are assured they will receive a vote for a pro-abortion justice. Strickland campaign spokesman David Bergstein says his candidate “would not support a nominee who opposes a woman’s right to choice.”
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Strickland has called for the confirmation of Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Portman is standing strong with other Senate Republicans to the position that the replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia should be nominated by the President elected in the November presidential election. Portman told Ohio reporters, “We should let the people decide. This is not about the person, it’s about the principle.”
Strickland originally took a moderate position when a reporter from Cleveland.com asked him how he would vote on U.S. Supreme Court nominees who are pro-life, according to the news outlet.
“As far as I’m concerned, that would be a nominee that I would find it difficult to vote for,” Strickland said. “But I would try to consider the full range of qualifications that a nominee would bring to that nomination.”
But just a few minutes after the interview, the news outlet reported receiving an email from Strickland’s campaign spokesman David Bergstein saying that the candidate “would not support a nominee who opposes a woman’s right to choice.” Strickland later reiterated the position.
Strickland, a past governor of Ohio, has a long pro-abortion record dating back to his time in Congress. He faced pro-life criticism after he failed to provide support for a state law saying abortion centers could no longer put women’s health at risk by not properly using the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug. In 2010, he also appointed a pro-abortion judge to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Strickland’s response came just a few days after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly in Texas, leaving his seat on the bench open. The president of the United States is charged with appointing justices to the high court, but the U.S. Senate must approve the nominees.
Many pro-life groups mourned Scalia’s death over the weekend, calling him a pro-life hero for consistently rejecting the flawed reasoning of Roe v. Wade. In numerous interviews and speeches, Scalia called Roe bad case law and said he would vote to overturn it if a case reached his desk.
Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, told LifeNews that the U.S. needs a Supreme Court justice like Scalia who will protect the Constitutional right to life for every human being.
“Ted Strickland’s insistence on appointing activist pro-abortion judges is a reminder of the importance of voting pro-life, and specifically re-electing pro-life Senator Rob Portman,” Krider said. “We need a Justice who honors the Originalist tradition of Justice Scalia. We need a Justice who refuses to fabricate ‘rights’ that infringe on the most basic human right, the right to life.”