Abortion-rights fight plays out in Cincinnati as Planned Parenthood introduces new CEO



CINCINNATI (WKRC) – The battle between anti-abortion and pro-abortion advocates played out a mile-and-half apart in Cincinnati Wednesday. While Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio introduced their new CEO, protesters played graphic video of a live abortion on the University of Cincinnati’s campus.

In less than 30 days, all state funding will end at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Mt. Auburn. The leaders of the clinic say they’re gearing up for a fight to stick around, but anti-abortion advocates say they’re feeling optimistic they’ll win the abortion battle.

With the state defunding of Planned Parenthood and the re-introduction of the heartbeat bill in Ohio, Kersha Deibel is up for a fight.

“Whether you are thinking about the six-week abortion ban or the defunding cut we just received in Ohio, every angle is an attack on women’s health and access to reproductive healthcare,” said Deibel.

The UC grad is the new CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio. The Ohio native says Planned Parenthood is mobilizing nationwide to continue to provide more than just abortions.

“Whether that’s breast and cervical cancer treatment and testing, STI testing and treatment, a Pap smear, abortion services, birth control,” said Deibel.

But if Seth Drayer had his way, more states would follow Ohio’s lead of defunding Planned Parenthood.

“The right thing to do is to take the funding away from Planned Parenthood, those who kill children, and give it to those who do the same services but don’t kill,” said Drayer, director of training with Created Equal.

Drayer’s group played graphic video of a live abortion on UC’s campus Wednesday.

He says heartbeat bills like the ones in Ohio and Kentucky are a step in the right direction. Drayer is hopeful the state bills will lead to the re-examination of Roe vs. Wade.

“All this is is a step towards civil rights. A step towards granting rights to all humans,” said Drayer. “So stop killing babies with beating hearts; stop killing babies with certain methods.”

While anti-abortion activists like Drayer continue their mission, Deibel says Planned Parenthood is taking a hard look at how they’ll fight back.

“With every bad piece of legislation, how do we have strategies so that we stand tall and our doors stay open no matter what?” said Deibel.

On Wednesday, the Ohio Senate passed more abortion legislation. The new bill requires abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood to pay for the burial or cremation of aborted fetuses. It also tracks the number of abortions a woman has had and the chosen burial method. The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives for a vote.

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