CLEVELAND, Ohio — State Rep. Jean Schmidt, a Clermont County Republican, said during a radio interview this week that she would entertain a debate about outlawing birth control in the wake of the United States Supreme Court overturning constitutional protections for abortion.
Schmidt made the comments during a Wednesday interview with 700WLW’s Bill Cunningham in which she also said companies that provide travel expenses for employees to get abortion care could face legal consequences. Schmidt is the sponsor of a bill in the state legislature that would eliminate abortion from the time of conception, effectively outlawing it in the state.
“When we get back into session, we’ll probably have one or two more hearings on it and then it will go before our body and the Senate for a concurrent vote,” Schmidt said. “I do believe we have the votes in both chambers, and we have the full support of the governor on this bill.”
Schmidt, who previously called a pregnancy caused by rape an “opportunity” for women, said there would be no carveout for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
“You know, rape and incest is an ugly, ugly, ugly act of violence and that woman is truly harmed and scarred. Those wounds will never go away,” she said. “We need to make sure she has all of the love and help and support. But to end the pregnancy of the child is not going to erase the wounds or those scars. That child still has the right to life.”
Opponents of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion nationwide, have argued that the same legal principles could be applied to outlaw things like birth control and same-sex marriage, which are not specifically outlined in federal law or the constitution.
When asked about banning birth control, Schmidt said she would consider it.
“That’s another issue for another day and I’m going to have to listen to both sides of the debate,” she said. “Right now, what I’m concerned about right now is the life of the child and the fact that we have the opportunity in Ohio to protect it from its conception until its natural death.”
She gave a similar non-committal response to a question about same-sex marriage, saying it was “another decision for another day.”
Schmidt also said companies that operate in Ohio that have pledged to provide travel expenses for women who seek abortion care to do so in another state may run afoul of the full abortion ban Republicans plan on passing this fall.
“If those companies want to do that, they better make sure they are complying with the laws of the states that allow them to do that,” Schmidt said. “Because in House Bill 598, it says anybody that promotes an abortion will be under the issues of criminal activity. They might have a problem with sending somebody outside the state with a paycheck in hand, because that would be, in some legal eyes, promoting abortion.