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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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Governor changing his abortion view

By Julie Carr Smyth The Associated Press

COLUMBUS – Gov. Ted Strickland has asked to drop his name from the state’s effort to defend a bill that would restrict the use of the abortion drug RU-486, an early indication that he will take abortion policy in the bellwether state in a different direction.

Prior to Strickland taking office in January, the state appealed a federal court ruling striking down the law.

“Because Gov. Strickland does not wish to seek reversal of the lower court’s order, he seeks to withdraw his appeal,” Attorney General Marc Dann wrote in a brief filed last week with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Dann, who also took office in January, will continue to defend lawmakers in the appeal.

Both foes and backers of abortion rights say the future of the lawsuit could be unaffected by Strickland’s move – but they also agree it signals the new Democratic governor’s intent to be more open to abortion rights. Strickland is the first Democrat to control the governor’s office in 16 years.

“Thank goodness for Ohio women,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. “We haven’t seen anything like this from a governor since 1991, so we don’t quite know how to act.”

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