Ohio Republicans, emboldened by Trump’s win in November, this week pushed through two new attacks on women’s abortion rights. Ohio women (and men) are not having it, and are organizing massive protests in response.
Last week, Ohio Senators pulled a sneak attack, reviving the extreme “Heartbeat bill,” legislation that would ban abortions as early as six weeks of pregnancy, by amending it into an unrealated child abuse bill without a single public hearing. By keeping lawmakers in session throughout the day, the bill (HB493) made it through both chambers of the General Assembly in a single day and headed to Kasich for his signature. Later in the week, separate legislation (SB 127) that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks without exceptions for rape, incest or dire threats to women’s health, was similarly brought back from the dead and rushed through in a single day with votes occurring in the dark of night.
By Friday, secret Facebook groups of progressive pissed-off women were full of reports of busy phone lines, full voice mail boxes and frustrated staffers at the Governor’s office, as Ohioans bombarded Kasich with requests for his veto.
Today, activists decorated the iron fences around the statehouse with hundreds of wire hangers, as a reminder of the unsafe, unregulated world of back alley procedures that was commonplace before abortion rights were affirmed by the US Supreme Court.
Tomorrow, groups are organizing a rally at the Statehouse which promises to feature plenty of amazingly creative signs and lots more hangers
Sunday December 10 Statehouse Rally Info:
The Governor has 10 days after receiving a bill, not counting Sundays, to sign or veto it. Without his signature, the bill becomes law by default. That gives opponents a very short time frame in which to pressure the Governor to use his veto pen. Not only would HB493 be costly to defend when it is inevitably challenged in the courts, it would likely subject Ohio to the kind of economic boycotts that have affected North Carolina since its passage of extreme anti-LGBTQ legislation. It’s hardly a sensible response to what Kasich warns could be a looming recession.