Ohio GOP Senate candidates pitch federal abortion bans even after voters protected reproductive rights

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FINDLAY, Ohio — Ohioans voted decisively last year to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution, but all three of the Republicans competing in a tough U.S. Senate primary here say they are open to overruling them and supporting federal restrictions.

State Sen. Matt Dolan and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose present themselves as better authorities on the matter, arguing that voters didn’t fully understand the 2023 ballot measure.

Businessman Bernie Moreno favors a federal ban at 15 weeks — a timeline that Dolan also says he would back if “late-term abortions” become the “norm.” And while Dolan and Moreno both say they support exceptions in cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is in jeopardy, LaRose, who brags that his anti-abortion record “is not something I run away from,” is tougher to pin down.

“I support doing things that we can do to reaffirm the sanctity of life,” LaRose told reporters Monday after a GOP debate at the University of Findlay. “And I look forward to that conversation in the U.S. Senate, but I’m not going to litigate here how many weeks, how many exceptions.”