Red, Wine and Blue Ohio is ready to gear up for collecting signatures for the Ohio reproductive freedom ballot measure. Today I want to share with you a little bit about WHY I am involved in this work and committed to making sure women like me in Ohio have the freedom to make their own decisions.

A year ago, I was doing the juggling act that many of us know well: My husband and I both had big corporate jobs that required a lot of travel, while we were also raising a young kiddo (and a cat).

I was “living the dream.” But whose dream was it? My days consisted of taking my now 8-year-old to before-care so I could be in meetings for 10 hours straight, only to rush home to relieve the nanny in time for us to have family dinner, then collapse on the couch just to do it all again the next day. I knew something had to change.

When the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade was handed down, quickly followed by the Ohio 6-week abortion ban, I was furious.

Like many of you, I found myself venting with friends and feeling helpless. This hit home for me because in 2016, we had wanted so badly to grow our family and give our daughter a sibling. After rounds and rounds of fertility treatments, we finally saw a positive pregnancy test in October of 2018. This was our 5th IVF cycle after 7 rounds of IUI.

What unfolded over the next 3 months was a roller-coaster of emotions. From the sheer joy of FINALLY seeing a positive pregnancy test and being excited about morning sickness, to the gut-wrenching moment when the ultrasound tech told us the baby had stopped growing at 11 weeks, right when we were gearing up to share our exciting news with more than just close friends and family.

Unfortunately, my body kept creating the hormones to support a healthy pregnancy and was not miscarrying on its own. 10 days later, when the time came for my D&C, I cried all morning, up until the moment they rolled me into the operating room for the procedure.

I can NOT imagine going through one of the toughest times in my life while also worrying about whether I would be able to get the care I needed. Or worrying about whether I’d be arrested or sued or punished by my own government.

I want to make Ohio a better place for all of us and ensure that my daughter has the rights that I had at her age. She drew this picture at an event I hosted last fall in the Cincinnati area. It now hangs on my home office as a reminder of why I’m doing this work as the new Ohio Program Director of Red Wine & Blue.

My journey has taken me to unexpected places – including right here to Red Wine & Blue. Thanks for being alongside me as we journey together and ensure that everyone in Ohio has basic rights and freedoms.

Take care,

Jen Perez
Ohio State Director
Red Wine & Blue