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Ohio State students call on Portman to repeal Global Gag Rule

Ta’Kea Johnson is a second-year in social work at Ohio State. She said she joined #Fight4HER advocates Wednesday because her mother is still living with the health effects of unsafe abortion methods used when she was 16 years old. Credit: Zach Varda | Lantern Reporter

Ta’Kea Johnson has an emotional attachment to the issue of unsafe abortion methods. Her mother performed one when she was 16 and still lives with the consequences to this day.

“She had to revert to the old methods, like the coat hanger,” Johnson, a second-year in social work, said. “Now she still has long-lasting health effects because of it.”

This order was signed three days into Donald Trump’s presidency when he was still raving about his inauguration crowd size. – Nicholas Youngblood, a second-year in exploration.

Witnessing the outcome of unsafe abortions motivates Johnson to advocate at events like the one Wednesday, when #Fight4HER delivered petitions to U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s office, calling on him to support the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights (HER) Act.

“It’s something that affects women around the world,” Johnson said. “Secondly, it affects families, so men and women, the entire family.”

The #Fight4HER campaign is run by the Population Connection Action fund and seeks to influence legislators to pass the HER Act. The act would remove and permanently outlaw the Global Gag Rule instituted by President Donald Trump. The policy bars any foreign nongovernmental organizations that receive U.S. global health aid from discussing safe, legal abortion with their patients.

Nicholas Youngblood, a second-year in exploration who has been involved with the #Fight4HER campaign for one year, said a lot of people weren’t aware of the executive action.

“This order was signed three days into Donald Trump’s presidency when he was still raving about his inauguration crowd size,” Youngblood said. “He signed a lot of orders in that period of time when everyone was focused on his more outrageous comments.”

Despite this, Youngblood said the Ohio State campus is a place where it is easier to get people motivated about an issue that can seem so far away.

“The Ohio State community is really diverse and it helps build a lot of empathy for people across the world in all sorts of different situations,” he said. “The [Global Gag Rule] is disadvantaging a lot of people very unnecessarily and I think people really resonated with that.”

The #Fight4HER campaign is run by the Population Connection Action fund and seeks to influence legislators to pass the HER Act. Credit: Zach Varda | Lantern Reporter

Portman was not in his office, but his aides received the message from the group. Portman does not hold an official position on the act.

Emmalee Kalmback, Portman’s press secretary, provided the following statement: “Rob is proud of his pro-life record and has always opposed using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.”

Kit Sperl, a third-year in linguistics and Japanese, said the feeling of physically giving the petitions to the office felt rewarding.

“We’ve been standing out in the cold for hours a few times a week collecting these [signatures],” Sperl said. “Now we can actually put it where it will be useful with the senator who will have to take this into account now for his policy decisions.”

Johnson also was happy to make the delivery, but was frustrated by the inability to talk to Portman himself.

“That’s something I don’t like about government, not being able to talk to them directly when they’re supposed to be voicing the opinion of the people,” she said.


  1. I can’t describe how disgusting it is to see young people, who have incredible opportunities in their life, campaigning to execute innocent children, ending their future before it begins. Make no mistake, these are healthy, unborn children who’s rights are being taken away through abortion, the most horrible form of child abuse one can imagine.

    Children live, think, feel pleasure and feel pain. They possess all of the feelings, and emotions that we cherish. They are indeed complete individuals with all of the attributes that make us caring human beings.

    Furthermore, to use an argument that one’s mother had to resort to some back alley form of abortion is in itself a ludicrous non-argument. She chose to kill her child. No one did this for her. I can’t imagine the pain and sheer terror that child, or any child, goes through when they are being killed.

    How in the world did some in our young generation, one that prides itself on equality, fairness and opportunity, end up brainwashed into thinking that abortion and the selfish inhumanity of it all, has anything to do with freedom and health care? When did it become ok to kill someone out of convenience, or to cover up an action they chose themselves?

    When will they understand that promoting and participating in the killing a child, a living person, a defenseless human being, makes them everything they claim to despise in this world?

    • So, a few things here because your comment comes from a viewpoint that has nothing to do with our argument and if you actually understood what we are fighting for, maybe you would approach the situation, or even keep your viewpoints towards a pro-life/pro-choice argument. Because this isn’t that.
      Speaking on my own situation, because I did decide to include my own personal story and the background behind that story is not there. But since you feel as if it’s your business to address it, you should know that she had no other choice and that her mother made her. That my grandmother said either get rid of it or you can’t come home. This wasn’t her choice. That is MY reason for supporting this campaign so women ARENT forced to resort to these methods that not only kills the child but can kill the mother as well. By the way, my personal story should not be something you feel the need to comment on. That is ludicrous.
      This is not a for-abortion or against abortion campaign. Did you even know that more abortions aren’t being performed now that they’re banned than when they were legal? More severe abortion methods are being used. How can you even think that the government should be able to regulate something that affects our health! That’s our choice! How can you support the government telling medical professionals, people who have gone to schools for several years to earn their degree, that they can’t even inform women of their options?!
      How do you say that all abortions are killing children out of convenience or to cover up an action, but do you not consider forced sex? Do you know our child poverty rate is higher than our poverty rate because so many children are born into impoverished families. So you must think it is okay for children to be born when there are not even resources to feed them, house them, or even provide basic necesseties? Did you know that hospitals are closing, not abortion clinics, HOSPITALS because their funding is being taken away just because they’re doing their job!?
      So to close, once again, we are fighting for funding of hospitals again. We are fighting for doctors to be able to do their jobs! We are fighting for the government to focus on more important things here! If the president would like to make abortions illegal, do so. But cutting the funding of hospitals? Is completely ridiculous!
      But you’re brainwashed into thinking that this rule is doing a good job. You’re brainwashed into thinking that this is saving lives when actually, more lives are being taken each day, more lives are at risk. Now THAT is disgusting. We chose to fight for this campaign, we’re far from brainwashed.

  2. Killing, by abortion or otherwise, is killing. Period.

    Specific personal situations and health issues should, absolutely, be dealt with in a humane and just manner.

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