Ohio Democrat Senate Candidate Ryan Wants “No Restrictions” On Abortion

The race in Ohio for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat is shaping up around a strong contrast between Republican candidate J.D. Vance and his opponent Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) over regulation of abortion following the end of Roe v. Wade.

In a Sunday morning appearance on CNN, Ryan was asked by host Dana Bash at what point during pregnancy he would support restrictions or bans on abortion procedures. The discussion followed some of the typical criticism of Vance on the issue that Ryan has been blasting out on the campaign trail.

Ryan said that he does not support abortion “at the end of term” unless there is “something very tragic happening in that pregnancy.” He said that is a situation that needs to be “left up to the doctor, not to J.D. Vance, Ted Cruz or anybody else.”

Bash followed up by pointing out that a legislator has to make decisions about the “law of the land” and told Ryan that “it sounds like you’re saying no restrictions.”

Ryan said that “absolutely no one” is for supporting “abortion toward the end.” He took that statement directly into his standard talking points against Vance, saying that he supports “no exceptions at all.” He referred to pregnancies caused by rape and cases where “people who are underage who have to go to other states who have been raped.”

Ohio enacted a state law in 2019 that bans abortions after a child’s heartbeat is medically detected. That normally happens around the sixth week of pregnancy. The Ohio statute makes exceptions for cases of medical emergencies or the risk of “serious impairment” to the mother’s body. It does not make exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

Vance has said during the campaign that the federal government should not be involved in the abortion issue and that he supports the June descison of the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In that ruling, the court declared abortion regulation should be resolved at the state level.

Vance has also expressed his personal support of Ohio’s current heartbeat act and its restrictions on abortion.

The current RealClearPolitics polling average shows that Vance leads Ryan in Ohio by 3.7 percentage points as the November general election approaches.