On Wednesday, state lawmakers will met for the final time in 2017 and passed new law restricting women’s access to reproductive healthcare. If signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, this would make 20 bills limiting the right to an abortion enacted into law since 2011.
HB214 (LaTourette and Merrin) – Down Syndrome Abortion Ban – this bill makes it a fourth degree felony for a doctor to perform an abortion if a woman’s reasons for ending a pregnancy may include a Down syndrome diagnosis. The bill, which has already passed in the House, was up for a vote Wednesday in the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid committee and was later passed by the Ohio Senate (SB164, LaRose).
Other Bills Moving Forward
HB258 (Hagan, Hood) – Six Week Abortion Ban – this bill, also referred to as the “Heartbeat bill” would outlaw abortion at the earliest detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks-earlier than many women learn they are pregnant. The same measure was vetoed by Governor Kasich last year.
SB28 (Uecker) – Fetal Tissue – this measure would require that fetal remains resulting from a surgical abortion at an abortion facility be disposed of by cremation or burial. The measure treats the same fetal material differently if it results from an abortion procedure compared to a miscarriage, and would significantly add to the cost of a legal abortion. The bill is up for a 2nd hearing featuring testimony from bill proponents in the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, an 11-member panel with only one female member.
Other legislation set to move before lawmakers leave for winter break:
HB1 (Sykes, Manning) – Dating Protection Orders – this bill expands the definition of domestic violence to extend important legal protections to intimate partners who are not married and do not live together. The measure was a priority for the House.
SB4 (Kunze, Oelslager) – Human Trafficking – this measure would create a process for victims of human trafficking who have been found not guilty or had their cases dismissed to have their criminal records expunged so they can avoid the negative consequences of a potential background check when seeking employment or housing.
Both the House and Senate held hearings on “Stand Your Ground” legislation to relax Ohio’s gun laws. SB180 (Uecker, Hottinger) received a third hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, while HB228 (Johnson, LaTourette) was up for a second hearing in the House Federalism and International Relations Committee on Wednesday.
Take Action To Stop The Bans
We need to reach out to lawmakers to tell them to stay out of deeply personal and complicated decisions that should be left to a woman, her family and her doctor.
- Urge your State Representative to end the attacks on abortion access, including the six-week abortion ban (HB258) and the Down syndrome abortion ban (SB164).
- Also, contact your State Senator and ask them to oppose the Down Syndrome Abortion Ban (HB214).
- Or, use this email form created by our partners at NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio to urge your legislators to oppose the two bills most likely to be sent to Governor Kasich’s before the end of 2017.
This post comes from our the weekly Statehouse Preview from our friends at Innovation Ohio.