Ohio Women Can Thank GOP Men For Modern-Day Feminist Movement
by Sandy Theis

The women of Ohio can thank the men in charge of Ohio for re-invigorating the women’s movement.

It’s been long overdue but the guys have simply gone too far. They have promoted laws and policies that hurt women by limiting their access to quality health care, forcing doctors to give women patients inaccurate information and continuing the futile, 40-year crusade to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Voters will make their displeasure known today during the We Won’t Go Back rally at the Ohio Statehouse. It starts at 11:30 on the west lawn of the Statehouse.

These policies are so extreme and Ohio is such an important state in national politics that the rally speakers include top women’s advocates – both nationally and in Ohio.

The Speakers:

Ellie Smeal, President of Feminist Majority Foundation; Terry O’Neill, President of National Organization for Women;  Stephanie Kight, President of Planned Parenthood Ohio; Kellie Copeland, President NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio; Sara Hutchinson, Catholics for Choice, Domestic Program Director; Petee Talley, Secretary-Treasurer Ohio AFL-CIO

This rally reflects a groundswell of concern over just how far Ohio has fallen and just how far the men in charge will go to take it even lower.

A new report shows Ohio has the nation’s fourth-worst infant mortality rate – and the second worst among black infants.  It is indisputable that better pre-natal care leads to fewer infant deaths but Ohio leaders have made it harder for women, especially poor ones, to get proper care.

Ohio also continues its growing trend of having legislators with no medical training practice medicine – bad medicine.

In 2011, the most recent year for which statistics are available, induced abortions dropped a surprising 12 percent. The decline followed a state law that took effect in early 2011 that puts new restrictions on the use of the drug, RU-486. Experts have questioned the validity of the 12 percent drop  and the safety of those restrictions.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported:

The change increased possible side effects, boosted the cost of a medical abortion and may have driven some women out of state, said Rachel Jones, senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute, a New York research organization that compiles reproductive health data.

Today’s crop of lawmakers now require doctors to do medically unnecessary tests and give patients incorrect information – and are considering a pending bill that would require doctors to tell patients there is a link between abortion and breast cancer when none exists.

Our leaders’ obsession with women’s reproductive health came as a surprise to some since candidate Kasich ran on a promise to mend Ohio’s wobbly economy.

Since taking office, Kasich and his legislative allies have undermined health care – a vital sector of Ohio’s economy, particularly in the northeast quadrant of the state. The Northeast Ohio Trade and Economic Consortium summed it up nicely:

The Northeast Ohio region is considered to be one of the top regions in the United States in the area of healthcare and medical research. …. According to a recent report by the Center For Health Affairs (2007), healthcare in Northeast Ohio has become one of the driving forces for economic growth in the region.

Despite this undisputed information, Team Kasich is passing laws guaranteed to cause some of the  brightest in the medical field to look for friendlier places to practice. He also is stacking the Ohio State Medical Board with extremists committed to wiping away abortion rights – if it means wiping out the promising field of genetic testing.

According to NARAL’s Copeland, the latest medical board appointee, Dr. Sushil Sethi, is a heart surgeon but “sounded more like an Ohio Right To Life representative  ‘’ when he grilled Case Western Reserve genetics faculty member Dr. Shawn McCandless.

According to minutes of the board meeting:

 “Dr. Sethi asked how the practice of genetic counseling will affect the abortion rate as more tests are developed to detect the possibility of a genetic disease in an unborn child….”

Dr. McCandless “opined that there is greater potential for limiting the conception of children with genetic defects than there is to increase the demand for termination.”

If you are a promising medical researcher, a medical student  or hoping to be a pioneer in the field of genetics testing, would you want to practice in Ohio?

If you are troubled by any of this, please come to the rally or communicate your concerns to the governor and your state lawmakers in a call or letter.

Let them know We Won’t Go Back.