2, Blog Post

Volunteer at ComFest 2015!

Volunteer at the grooviest event in Central Ohio — ComFest! The Freedom of Choice Ohio coalition will be talking to community festival attendees about the threats to Ohio women and families that politicians are considering at the Statehouse.

CLICK TO REGISTER


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

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2, Blog Post

#LiftTheStatute of Limitations on Rape in Ohio

NARAL_JohnsonGreta1_20150526

Rape survivors, police, and prosecutors will gain an additional five years to pursue charges against offenders, if the state passes House Bill 6 (or companion Senate Bill 13).

“Great…” you say, “but why just five years? Why not more?”

Exactly. Where HB 6 moves the bar from 20 to 25 years, Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) and Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) know a statute of limitations on rape should not exist at all. They will introduce legislation to remove the statute of limitations as well as redefine spousal rape.

Video from Marc Kovac

In endorsing HB 6, the Cleveland Plain Dealer asked the same question of “Why five years?” They include an admission from HB 6 sponsor Rep. Sarah LaTourette that there’s less political backbone to support a complete elimination of a statute of limitations for rape:

LaTourette agreed. “But we realized if we edited our legislation to eliminate the statute of limitations, the bill would die. And that doesn’t help anybody.”

“Great…” you say, “but what was that about ‘spousal rape’?”

Ok, this is the part that makes us want to throw up the most: in Ohio, it’s legal to rape your wife as long as you drug her first.

Under the law, married women are denied equal protection from sexual assault. While we have yet to see actual bill language, it is likely that their bill will alter or remove section (A)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code on Rape:

(emphasis added)
2907.02 Rape.
(A)
(1) No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another who is not the spouse of the offender or who is the spouse of the offender but is living separate and apart from the offender, when any of the following applies:
(a) For the purpose of preventing resistance, the offender substantially impairs the other person’s judgment or control by administering any drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance to the other person surreptitiously or by force, threat of force, or deception.
(b) The other person is less than thirteen years of age, whether or not the offender knows the age of the other person.
(c) The other person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age, and the offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the other person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age.
(2) No person shall engage in sexual conduct with another when the offender purposely compels the other person to submit by force or threat of force.

If you read section (A)(2) above, ask yourself “Shouldn’t that cover the part about drugging someone? Why would we exempt people who aren’t married?!?!”

There’s the problem, and the reason for action. Stay tuned.


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

Blog Post

Join NARAL for Pride across Ohio

NARAL_PrideLogo1_20150519

This year, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio is participating in Pride festivals in Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. You can join the party and work toward reproductive freedom by volunteering with us. You just need to bring sunscreen, positive energy, and maybe a friend!

REGISTER

Dayton Pride, June 6 Two shifts from 12 to 4 p.m.

Columbus Pride, June 20 Four shifts from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cincinnati Pride, June 27 Four shifts from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Cleveland Pride, June 27 Four shifts from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Blog Post

Kasich: Two-faced on infant mortality

Kasich_TwoFace4_20150520

Ohio Governor John Kasich was talking about infant mortality early on. He mentioned it in his first three State of the State speeches. Talk is cheap, but apparently he feels taking action is too expensive.

ACLU Ohio breaks it down in an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Whether bowing to political pressures or presidential aspirations, Kasich’s state budget proposal for 2015-2016 rolls back Medicaid coverage. Ohio House Bill 64 would decrease the amount of money a family can make and still enroll in Medicaid. For example, income for a family of three would now be capped at $27,724 a year. Pregnant women, one of the groups who stand to benefit most by having access to regular medical care, are put at serious risk by this plan.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cites the lack of prenatal care as a primary risk factor for having a premature delivery. Children who are born preterm frequently suffer from birth defects and lifelong health problems. The majority of babies who die before their first birthday are born prematurely.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has been sounding the alarm since February. In our release:

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “John Kasich keeps repeating he wants to reduce infant mortality, but his budget proposal will leave many low-income women without any health coverage at all. Babies born to mothers who received no prenatal care are three times more likely to be born at low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those whose mothers received prenatal care.”

In multiple budget committee hearings, State Rep. Nicki Antonio (D-Lakewood), Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron), and Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) all demanded answers. On the House floor before the budget was voted on, Rep. Sykes spoke passionately:

Will members of the Ohio Senate do what the House refused to? Will Kasich lift a finger to change a part of the budget that his office wrote?


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

Video

Just what is a Crisis Pregnancy Center? They’re getting your tax dollars, Ohio.

Do you remember the 2013 state budget? You know, the one that was really bad for women? This one:

kasich-budget-cpcs

Ohio Governor John Kasich rubber stamped every bullshit attack on women that Republican legislators could think of. They put awful restrictions on abortion providers that didn’t improve care, but did force some facilities to close. He slapped a gag on rape counselors who wanted to talk to survivors about abortion options. And he gave tons of cash (your tax dollars at work) to crisis pregnancy centers.

These phony-baloney facilities try to look like health care providers, but they don’t provide any real health care. You get an ultrasound, a pack of diapers, and a shame-filled lecture against abortion.

Ohio Right to Life has made new funding for crisis pregnancy centers a priority for the 2015 budget. Check the video from NARAL Pro-Choice California above for insight into CPCs (the Cali CPCs are just as phony as their Ohio cousins).


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

Blog Post

These politicians think reducing infant mortality is “important.”

The representatives marked below think our infant mortality rate is a crisis, but just two weeks ago, they voted to eliminate access to a Medicaid Optional program to provide prenatal care to low-income women in Ohio. Hypocrisy much?

Feel free to call your representative and tell them that you value access to health care for all Ohio women and that they should work to restore full funding for Medicaid Optional programs in the state budget.

FullHouse_InfantMortalityVote1_20150513

ADOPTED — HCR 12 *
INFANT MORTALITY (LaTourette, S., Antonio, N.) To declare Ohio’s rate of infant mortality a public health crisis and urge comprehensive preterm birth risk screening for all pregnant women in Ohio.
VOTE: 93-0


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

Video

Questionable questions for sixth-grade girls

On April 17, two girls came to testify with their mothers, encouraging the legislature to not cut funding to their school system during the State budgeting process. As usual when kids testify, everyone paid attention, laughed at their jokes and clapped when the testimony was finished (which usually garners a quick pounding of the gavel by the chair since clapping is frowned upon in the Ohio Legislature). These girls were wise beyond their years, had a lot more guts than I had at that age, and clearly stated their argument for the committee. Frankly their testimony was better than a lot of testimony I hear in that building.

So, what lesson did those girls learn that day? Did they learn that their hard work would make a difference? Did they learn that their voices could educate legislators about issues important to them? Did they learn that by being brave and smart their actions would be respected? Well yes, most of the members of the legislature congratulated them on how smart they were. Members of both parties encouraged them to run for office, and to keep speaking out.

But then the feel good moment quickly came to a screeching halt when, for each girl, one legislator taught them a lesson that all of us wish these girls never had to learn. That we live in a sexist world where their value is judged, not on how smart or brave they are, but on who is willing to date and/or marry them. Because if you are smart, brave, and strong, the best thing that could ever happen is that a boy would want to marry you right? You can see it for yourself in the video.

Rep. Burkley

These girls learned an unfortunate, but important lesson that day. If they want to be taken seriously, not only do they have to be smart, brave, and strong, but they also have to fight back against ridiculous sexist actions that are meant to hold them back. But, based on how rockstar both of these girls were, I have a feeling that neither of them will have problems with that! I have a feeling this isn’t the last time we hear from them.

As I walked into the Finance Hearing room for yet another long day waiting to deliver my three minutes of testimony, I had no idea how frustrated and angry I was about to become. My days in the Ohio Statehouse as a lobbyist for NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio are often frustrating, but that was its own special kind of day.

Source video:
http://www.OhioChannel.org/MediaLibrary/Media.aspx?fileId=146303


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio