With their move to defund Planned Parenthood, Ohio Republicans have put our state on center stage in the nationwide assault on women’s health. While the national party sought to quell the talk of a “war on women” and make these issues go away, the Ohio party jumped in with both feet.
We are in the national spotlight and that’s a good thing. When Virginia tried to require vaginal ultrasounds for an abortion, thousands of women took action and scared politicians to change the bill. In Idaho, flooded with phone calls from around the country and facing daily protests at the Statehouse, Republicans there dropped their a pre-abortion ultrasound mandate.
Ohio activists are reeling from the speed of this proposal but we need to act now. Right now.
While the bill is still in the House Finance Committtee, every member of that committee needs to know how unpopular this proposal is. And here we come to the two things you need to do RIGHT NOW:
1. Call Representative Amstutz, chairman of the committee RIGHT NOW
online contact form
Tell his staff member who answers the phone that you want to register your opposition to his attempt to de-fund planned parenthood and ask that he amend House Bill 487 to remove the provisions relating to Planned Parenthood.
If you have time, call the other members of the Finance Committee–the Republicans in particular–and make the same plea.
Post a request on your social networks for your friends to call/email/tweet Amstutz if they have a minute. This needs to completely bog down his phone lines and his email inbox or he will not care. It’s that simple.
Tell Amstutz and other committee members that you are telling all your friends, and that you will remember in November when they’re up for election and will tell your family and your hundreds of friends on social media not to vote for them in November. There will be consequences.
2. This morning at 9 a.m. there is another hearing on the bill in the Statehouse, Room 313. If you can’t find it, make your way to the Rotunda and ask the Trooper. They will help you.
Sit or stand in the committee room, or, if it’s full, in the hallway outside. Wear pink if you can. Fill the room. Bring your friends. This is really important. Nothign scares a legislative committee more than a room full of pissed-off voters because it means you know what they’re doing and intend to hold them accountable.
If you’re really brave, sign a witness slip, bring 32+ copies of your written testimony and speak the committee. We’ll do another post if they schedule another hearing.
We have a very limited window of time to act. The bill – House Bill 487 – contains thousands of pages of changes related to the state budget and is on the fast-track to become law before the summer recess. That means it probably passes the House of Representatives within the next week or so, then moves on to the Senate and finally Governor Kasich.
Ohio is now in the national spotlight. We need to act now, or it will be too late. Signing petitions is NOT ENOUGH. More on that later.