As lawmakers continue their assault on women’s health, ProgressOhio urged Senate Republicans to donate money from a disgraced former member to groups that help women in a press release Friday.
Former state Sen. Cliff Hite, a Findlay Republican, abruptly resigned last week and apologized for conduct toward a state employee. Senate leaders engineered his departure after learning that he is facing allegations of sexual harassment, the release said.
Since joining the Upper Chamber, Hite has donated just over $610,000 to the Ohio Republican Senate Campaign Committee, according to a ProgressOhio analysis.
“As a show of good faith, the Senate GOP should give the money to groups such as the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Women Have Options or Ohio NOW,’’ said ProgressOhio Executive Director Sandy Theis. “Senate leaders can move quickly to try and protect their image. Meanwhile, the assault on women’s reproductive health continues, and more Ohio moms and kids live in poverty and die too soon.’’
Ohio’s infant mortality rate crept up 2016, marking the second consecutive year that Ohio’s infant death rate has risen, and the rate for black infants continues to outpace the rate for white ones, the release said. Ohio routinely falls near the bottom of national rankings on infant mortality, which public health experts consider a fundamental measure of the well-being of a population, it noted. Maternal mortality is up in every state but California, it said.
Since John Kasich became governor, Ohio has made new abortion restrictions a top priority, passing 19 new restrictions and the 20th appears to be on its way, it said. Just this week, a House committee passed a bill to outlaw abortion if the fetus is diagnosed with Down syndrome, the release noted in conclusion.