Fact-Checked: ‘Yes’ Side’s Extremism Exposed in Ohio Issue 1 Televised Debate

For Immediate Release: October 16, 2023
Contact: [email protected]

Amendment Would Enshrine Second- and Third-Trimester Abortions, Eliminate Parental Rights, & Put Women at Risk

– Protect Women Ohio set the record straight on Issue 1 in a Spectrum News televised debate this weekend where Columbus-based attorney and small business owner Mehek Cooke took on pro-abortion activist Desiree Tims. Cooke clearly defined the extremism of the proposed constitutional amendment which allows abortion until the moment of birth, eliminates parental rights and endangers women by removing health and safety precautions.

Throughout the debate, Tims lied 14 times about the ability of women to receive life-saving care under Ohio’s protective laws, which limit painful late-term abortions and abortions when a baby’s heartbeat is detected – falsely claiming that women cannot receive miscarriage care and must flee the state or endanger their lives should they have a pregnancy complication.

Tims’ claims have been disproven by Attorney General Dave Yost’s analysis of the measure. In one of her responses, Cooke stated:

“In Ohio, miscarriage care is available and I can tell you I gave birth last year to my son and in between, I thought I was having a miscarriage. I went to Riverside Hospital, they gave me the proper care, and thank God my son was born. But to peddle misinformation? You don’t have to hear from me. Go ask your doctor. . . do I have miscarriage care?”

Kelsey Pritchard, a spokeswoman for Protect Women Ohio Action, shared her reaction to Tims’ lies:

“Every pro-life law in the country allows necessary and timely medical treatment to save the life of a pregnant woman in an emergency. Pro-abortion activists in Ohio are spreading shameless misinformation about the 22-week and heartbeat laws, causing confusion amongst the public that puts women’s lives at risk.”

Twelve minutes into the debate, the Cooke and Tims were asked to explain the definition of health in Issue 1. Tims pointedly admitted that it is not defined at all. In reality, this expansive non-definition will allow elective late-term abortions until the moment of birth. Cooke explained:

“It’s what the Supreme court has said today. They have held that health is financial, social, mental. . . the abortionist – they get to define what health is today and that is unacceptable.”

Cooke ended the debate by highlighting the extremism of Issue 1:

“At the end of the day, we have to go back to what Issue 1 truly is. It is putting our women at risk if we don’t vote no, because we will get rid of all of our commonsense health and safety standards. It will allow for partial-birth abortions when a baby can feel pain. That is not where Ohio wants to be today. And it eviscerates parental rights. The ACLU has decades and decades of time spent from Alaska to Indiana where they are attacking parental rights. They’re calling parents like me and Ohioans a burden . . . The Ohio I know is not radical. It’s not extreme.”

The hour-long debate is available online and will air on WVIZ at 10 p.m. CT on Thursday, Oct. 19.


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