Athens County, Ohio Reproductive Rights Petition

Athens County, Ohio Reproductive Rights Petition

July 1, 2022
Signatures: 393Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Ari Faber


Mayor Steve Patterson

Athens County Prosecuting Attorney, Keller Blackburn

Athens County Sheriff, Rodney Smith

Ohio University Police Department Chief, Andrew D. Powers

Athens County Prosecuting Attorneys

Athens County Law Enforcement Officials



As elected prosecutors, ministers of justice, law enforcement and leaders in our community we, the residents of Athens, ask you to vow to refrain from using limited criminal legal system resources to criminalize personal medical decisions.

            We ask you to formally, and in writing, pledge to the residents of Athens County the following:

1.      You will decline to use your offices’ resources to criminalize reproductive health decisions;

2.      You will refrain from prosecuting those who seek, provide and/or support abortions;

3.      You will uphold your ethically bound commitment to protect the well-being and safety of all members of our community;

4.      You will pass a resolution to deprioritize enforcement of abortion laws.

As elected officials, you have a responsibility to ensure that your limited resources, backed by the Athens County residential taxpayer, are focused on efforts to prevent and address serious crimes rather than enforce abortion bans that divide our community, create untenable choices for patients and healthcare providers, and erode trust in the justice system.

Athens City Code 9.06.20, Cannabis Laws and Penalties, sets precedent law in Athens County to decrease penalties, including fines and court costs, for misdemeanor marijuana offenses. On November 7, 2017 (Issue 6) was passed through Athens County legislature.

"TACO is not legalization or even decriminalization: marijuana remains illegal. A better term is de-penalization, or removing penalties. It changes fines to $0 for misdemeanors. ... The stated purpose of TACO is not to reduce fines but rather to redirect law-enforcement resources toward more serious and violent crimes." Brown also stated that Issue 6 would reduce the incentive for city police to enforce marijuana laws and that it would reduce fear for people using marijuana recreationally.” - Caleb Brown, The Athens News.

Please take into consideration that to best promote public safety, prosecutors must be perceived by their communities as trustworthy, legitimate, and fair. These are values that would be undermined by the enforcement of laws that criminalize deeply personal decisions, harm those most in need of our help, and force unnecessarily difficult and traumatizing decisions on many in our community. 

                                                            Agreed upon by, 

We the undersigned eligible voters of Athens County, Ohio

                                                      Dated: July 1, 2022

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Signatures: 393Next Goal: 500
Support now