Ohio Senate Democratic nominee Tim Ryan said during an appearance on Fox News that he would support having practically no limits on abortion in light of the Supreme Court’s apparent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Asked by Fox’s Brett Baier whether he would support any limits on abortion, Ryan responded, “Look, I think what we had established in Roe is something that we can continue to work with, and I think those can be the parameters.”
“But then again, if you get rid of what was established law which in many ways was conservative to keep that to appreciate stare decisis and make sure we appreciate the law,” he continued. “If we move away from that you will get states like Ohio that have some of the most extreme laws in the whole country.”
“Where if you are a young girl, and you have been raped or there has been incest that you can’t—you have to—the state, the government is going to force you to bring that baby to term and I don’t think that’s a fundamental value,” he argued.
“My question was about any limits to abortion at any point,” Baier clarified. “Late-term, anything?”
“Look, you got to leave it up to the woman,” Ryan replied. “You and I sitting here can’t account for all of the different scenarios that a woman, dealing with the complexities of a pregnancy, are going through. How can you and I figure that out?”
In a tweet after the interview, Ohio GOP nominee J.D. Vance decried the position.
“Here’s Kamala Harris stooge Tim Ryan defending abortion through 40 weeks,” Vance wrote. “This is a barbaric position anywhere in the world (even European nations typically don’t allow abortion after 12 weeks). But it’s an especially radical position in Ohio.”
In a midterm season expected to see substantial Democrat losses in the House and a tough battle to retain the Senate, some embattled Democrats are hoping to use the leaked Roe v. Wade decision to galvanize their base in November.
“Elections this November will have consequences, because the rights of 100 million women are now on the ballot,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on May 3. “Most of all, cast your ballots this November.”
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said, “This kind of outcome is exactly what I’ve been ringing alarm bells about—and this is a five alarm fire.”
House Democratic Campaign Committee Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), called the abortion issue “the central choice in the 2022 election.”
Democrat Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has been in the spotlight for her wide-reaching COVID-19 measures, also weighed in.
“Our work is more important than ever,” Whitmer said. “I’ll fight like hell to protect abortion access in Michigan.”
However, President Joe Biden said on May 3 that he hadn’t given much thought to how Democrats should change their tactics in light of the decision.
“What does this mean for the midterms?” A reporter asked Biden. “What does this mean for the Democrats’ argument in the midterms?”
“I haven’t thought that through yet,” Biden replied.
Still, it remains to be seen how compelling this will be to Ohio voters.
Once a crucial swing state, Ohio has increasingly come under GOP control since 2016. In 2020, President Donald Trump took 53.27 percent of the vote compared to Biden’s 45.24 percent.
The state legislature is dominated by GOP supermajorities in both chambers, and legislation is already on the books to trigger an almost full ban if Roe is overturned. In this milieu, Ohio voters may not be impressed by Ryan’s heavily permissive attitude toward abortion.