March 20, 2018 In The News

Making sure women have the truth when making important medical decisions

During my 17 years in political office, I have sat with women from Ohio and around the country. I heard them talk about their experiences that led them to the difficult decision to end a pregnancy. These conversations were hard, tears were shed. But they led me to do what most in Washington, D.C. would consider the unthinkable: I changed my mind.

I was elected to political office at a young age, and being raised in a Catholic family, always considered myself pro-life. My faith is important to me, and I strive to adhere to its principles. I was taught to “judge not, lest ye be judged” and to show compassion to others. I took these teachings to heart and these values fueled my desire to serve the public. Over the years, I gained a deeper understanding of the complexities and emotions that accompany the difficult decisions that women and families make when confronting a pregnancy. No government could account for vast number of complications of any given pregnancy; and that is why as I apply the values of non-judgment and compassion to the issue of women’s reproductive freedom.

Women deserve the right to make decisions about their own lives, bodies and futures. I am committed to protecting the freedoms of all Americans and believe that every person must be supported in trying times. As a legislator inspired by my religion’s social teachings, my mission has been to support families in need, whether they face job loss, sickness, addiction or financial hardship. It’s our purpose as Americans to support one another, not shame, blame or deceive people at a vulnerable moment in their lives. That’s why I’m standing with women in the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra case before the Supreme Court this week.