Blog Post

Thanksgiving Femorandum

 

P2A
For Thanksgiving, Kellie and Ashley sat down with the participants in our 2017 class of Patients to Advocates, a fellowship program sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Foundation, New Voices Cleveland, Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and Preterm. In its second year, the program involves a variety of efforts to talk to their community about the importance of abortion access.
listen-on-apple-podcasts
ProMedica action
ProMedica is currently refusing to sign a transfer agreement with Capital Care, the last remaining abortion clinic in Toledo. Without that agreement, Capital Care Toledo could close, eliminating abortion access for thousands of area women. ProMedica leadership, doctors, and staff need to know how destructive this decision could be for the women of Toledo and their families. They need to hear from you.

Abortion Access Toledo

Toledo event
Last week, pro-choice Toledoans delivered a petition signed by 5,000 activists to ProMedica CEO Randy Oostra.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Foundation Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “I know ProMedica would prefer to remain neutral on abortion and I am appalled that Governor Kasich has put them in this position. However, ProMedica must either sign a transfer agreement with Capitol Care Network, or admit they are a part of Kasich’s quiet strategy to eliminate abortion access in Ohio.”
Stop The Bans
The creator of the six-week abortion ban bill is busy in Alabama promoting rapist Roy Moore in his race for the US Senate. Meanwhile, the Ohio House will be giving the latest version of the bill yet another hearing. You can attend the hearing for House Bill 245 and tell your state legislator to #StopTheBans!
Wednesday, November 29 at 9 AM – 11 AM
Ohio Statehouse
1 Capitol Square, Columbus, Ohio 43215
knitting wool
Join this monthly Craftivist event with NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio! We’ll stitch and discuss the reproductive ‘state of the state’ for folks who might be interested in what’s going on in the repro justice world. It’s basically, a Repro Health Happy Hour for folks who’d rather craft and want family-friendly events.
Sunday, December 17 at 3 PM – 5 PM
Wholly Craft
3515 N High St, Columbus, Ohio 43214

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Trans gender
At least 25 transgender people in the United States have been homicide victims so far this year, the highest annual total on record, according to advocacy groups that have been monitoring the grim phenomenon and seeking ways to reduce the toll.

Down syndrome abortion ban passes Ohio Senate

Ohio Statehouse
On a 20-12 vote, the Ohio Senate approved their version of the Down syndrome abortion ban, Senate Bill 164. Three Republican senators — Matt Dolan, Gayle Manning, and Stephanie Kunze — joined the full Democratic caucus in opposing the bill.  The Senate action follows a separate vote on matching legislation by the Ohio House last month. Either the House or Senate version of the bill would still have to go through the opposite chamber before going to Gov. Kasich for signature or veto.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “It is not our place to judge or decide for any woman what she should do, or prevent her from having honest conversations about her options with her physician—especially following a complicated medical diagnosis. This legislation criminalizes those important conversations and callously disregards the unique circumstances that surround each woman’s pregnancy. This abortion ban is both immoral and unconstitutional.”
Amazon Smile
Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Foundation whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.
giving tuesday
Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive healthcare options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & 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.
donate button
Advertisements
Blog Post

Two hearings, volunteer event, & a new pro-choice editorial

We’re staring down another big week for pro-choice activism.

Monday – The Akron Beacon Journal editorial board issued a new editorial against the Down Syndrome Abortion Ban bills: Don’t make conversation a crime.

They said:

Ohio already has put in place many restrictions on the right to an abortion, including a ban after 20 weeks. The courts largely have struck down those limits applying an ‘undue burden,’ most recently in the form of medically unnecessary regulations. House Bill 214 takes aim at something even more fundamental. The courts have held firm to the right of women to make this choice, drawing a crucial line at “viability,” or when the fetus could survive outside the womb. Up to that point, a woman has full control of her body. This legislation would take that away. Which helps explain why a similar law enacted in Indiana has found tough going in court. Let’s not take a step that seeks to make criminals out of doctors who have conversations with their patients.

Email your state legislators to oppose these bills.

Tuesday – Lawmakers in the Ohio Statehouse will hold two hearings on anti-abortion bills. These hearings are open to the public, and we always encourage pro-choice Ohioans to attend. Follow us on Twitter for live updates.

1:30 p.m., House Criminal Justice Committee, Statehouse Room 114 – First hearing for the Abortion Method Ban, Senate Bill 145. This bill would ban the most common method of second-trimester abortion. You remember our actions against this bill when we staged Handmaid’s Tale protests in the Ohio Senate this Spring.

3:15 p.m., Senate Health Committee, Statehouse South Hearing Room – Fourth hearing on the Down Syndrome Abortion Ban, Senate Bill 164. The committee will likely vote on the bill after hearing the last of the witnesses against the bill.

Wednesday – This is the first opportunity for the Ohio Senate to vote on Senate Bill 164 if it is passed by the Senate Health Committee on Tuesday.

1:30 p.m., Senate Session – Possible vote on the Down Syndrome Abortion Ban.

Thursday – NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and Keep Abortion Safe and Legal in Toledo calling on ProMedica to sign a transfer agreement with Capital Care Network, the last abortion provider in Northwest Ohio.

Noon in Toledo – Join us to send a message to ProMedica CEO Randy Oostra. Email Annie Krol for details.

5:30 p.m. in Columbus – Activist Night at NARAL: Volunteers will be calling Toledo residents to ask them to urge ProMedica to sign a transfer agreement with Capital Care Network. This may be the last and only chance to ensure women have access to abortion in that community.

It’s a busy week, but our staff is ready. They really depend on your support, so please participate in an action – online or in person – when you can.


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 safe & 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

DIY Sexy IUD costume

Don’t you love it when the title of your post is almost exclusively an acronym?

Anyway, let’s say that you’re a reproductive rights activist who needs a last minute Halloween costume that conveys what you’re about – safer sex, contraception, and a good do-it-yourself ethic! Enter the sexy IUD costume. Easy, quick, and real weird.

You’ll need:

  • floral wire
  • copper spray paint
  • 16in extension tube
  • center outlet continuous waste kit
  • string/rope to hang your IUD
  • little black dress

Step one, acquire all your supplies.

20171031_113545

Step two, assemble your IUD.

20171031_114719

Step three, wrap IUD with floral wire. You may want to use packing tape to have the beginning and end of the wire stay where you put it. The wire isn’t super visible after spray painting, so it’s really an optional step. I just wanted to be accurate (but also recognizable)!

20171031_121829

Step four, go outside and spray your IUD with the copper paint.

20171031_122024

Step five, add string, pair with little black dress, and voila! You are a sexy IUD.

costume

The above intrauterine device is the copper IUD, Paragard. It can be used as 99.9% effective birth control for up to 12 years. Hormonal IUDs would be harder to recognize, I think, which is why I went with the telltale copper.

Anyway, it was a quick and easy silly costume. After all, in an administration trying to rollback progress on reproductive rights, what could be scarier than asserting them?


 

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 safe & 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

Wednesday will be busy.

Schedule for November 1, 2017:

9 a.m. — The Ohio House Health Committee will hold their first hearing on the six-week abortion ban. Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) and Rep. Ron Hood (R-Ashville) return with their blatantly unconstitutional bill to ban abortion at a point in pregnancy when many women do not yet realize they are pregnant.
This hearing will be in Statehouse Room 121.

1:30 p.m. — The Ohio House may schedule has scheduled a vote on the Down syndrome abortion ban. We strongly oppose this unconstitutional attack on reproductive rights, and we know you do too.

Email your legislator here to urge a no vote on this latest proposed abortion ban.

The New York Times wrote an editorial about this ban: “It is hard to imagine any other circumstance in which Americans would tolerate this sort of government intrusion. But of course this is precisely the dilemma that opponents of the right to choose aim to create: instilling guilt and fear in women making intensely personal and private decisions about their own bodies. In fact, a significant majority of women who receive a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome choose to abort their pregnancy. A smaller percentage choose to carry the fetus to term. In both cases, it is a personal decision.

But there’s good news, too!

3 p.m. — Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) and Rep. Michelle Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) will have the first opportunity to testify in support of their clinic protection legislation. These legislators are some of the best advocates for women in the General Assembly and we are so grateful for their work!
This hearing will be in Statehouse Room 114.

You can attend these public hearings. Show your support for reproductive rights!


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 safe & 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

Thoughts from our Political Director on #MeToo

The past week, the hashtag #MeToo has been trending. What is #MeToo? It’s men and women detailing their sexual assault or sexual harassment and letting others know that they are not alone. It’s showing how we can come together to deal with the everyday problems that are becoming all too normal for our society. It’s expressing the volume of how prevalent these acts of violence are and how many choose to stay silent for whatever reason that may be. It’s showing others that they can be brave and speak out against their attacker. It’s telling us that as a society we can and should do better because no one deserves to feel ashamed.

We have seen it happen time and time again where those with more power use their power to maliciously get what they want. Unfortunately, that also includes rape, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. The hashtag #MeToo explains to victims that their stories are valid, their feelings are valid, and that they didn’t ask to be hurt sexually no matter what the circumstances were. Those who use their position to hurt someone else often do it over and over again without repercussions. It’s time we start holding these individuals accountable for their sick actions. Many people do not speak up out of fear of violence, victim shaming, retaliation, or that it may cost them their career that they worked so hard for or hasn’t even started yet. This is not okay!

We should not be a society that teaches it’s okay to sexually assault or harass someone. We should not be a society that elects a man President of the United States who brags about grabbing women by the p*ssy. We should not be a society that is teaching our youth that this type of behavior is okay instead of holding those fully accountable and responsible for their actions. What kind of message are we really sending?

Most of us are taught right from wrong as children in our households but as we get older society teaches us a whole new set of rules. Keep quiet, don’t rock the boat, women are less equal than men therefore our feelings aren’t valid, don’t bring yourself negative attention by standing up for yourself. No wonder so many people choose to stay quiet and suffer in silence. It’s horrific to think that individuals as young as kids have to hide this deep dark secret of being molested, raped, or sexually harassed usually by someone they know and trusted. They have more fear about speaking out than they do about how this might affect them in the long run. What kind of society are we? The kind that condones this type of behavior or the kind that says enough is enough!

For Choice,

Vashitta Johnson
Field and Political Director
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio


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 safe & 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

Mike DeWine Trying to Punish Teenager in Texas

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has joined AGs from six other states in trying to block a young woman from obtaining an abortion in Texas. In a press release justifying his actions, DeWine’s campaign blatantly lied about abortion funding — in truth, private funding has been secured for the young woman.

SIGN THIS PETITION AGAINST DEWINE’S AGENDA

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit to force government officials to permit the minor, who is an immigrant, access to abortion care. DeWine signed onto an amicus brief against the effort to assist the 17 year old woman. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Office of Refugee Resettlement, is refusing to allow pregnant minors in its custody to obtain abortion care and is forcing unaccompanied minors who decide to have an abortion to submit to anti-abortion “counseling” from so-called crisis pregnancy centers. The woman — identified as Jane Doe — may be up to 14 weeks’ pregnant, according to her attorney, Rochelle Garza. Texas law prohibits most abortions after 20 weeks. Further delay could push her into the second trimester.

Speaking against DeWine’s interference, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said:

Mike DeWine has bent over backwards to punish women in Ohio, and now he’s interfering in the medical care of a young woman in Texas. His actions are immoral. There is no reason this refugee should have to pay the price for his anti-choice agenda. DeWine has sunk so low that he’s fundraising off his efforts to block this young woman from accessing a privately funded abortion.

DeWine’s campaign solicited donors with this message: “American taxpayers should not pay for illegal aliens to get abortions,” but in fact, an advocacy organization, Jane’s Due Process, worked with local abortion funds to obtain funding for the procedure.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has refused to release Doe for medical care, even to her court-appointed guardian ad litem. The actions of the federal government have now delayed Doe’s access to abortion care for three weeks – past the time for her to obtain the less intrusive medication abortion.

Copeland continued:

Mike DeWine has used his position as Ohio’s attorney general to oppose access to birth control coverage for women who receive their health insurance from a religiously affiliated employers, and he launched a high profile investigation of Planned Parenthood that ultimately discovered that they were following all state and federal laws. There may be no other politician in Ohio more determined to abuse his elected office for the sole purpose of blocking women’s access to reproductive health care, including safe and legal abortion care, than Mike DeWine.

The ORR blocked the young woman from receiving unbiased pregnancy options counseling and an accurate confirmation of the stage of her pregnancy at the nearby state-licensed abortion clinic. Instead, ORR forced caseworkers at the shelter to take Doe to a religious doctor for counseling and a pregnancy test.


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 safe & 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

Testifying against the latest abortion ban in Ohio.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Deputy Director Jaime Miracle testified against the Down syndrome abortion ban bill, HB 214.

Chairman Huffman, Vice Chairwoman Gavarone, Ranking Member Antonio, and members of the House Health Committee, my name is Jaime Miracle. I am the deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. I am here to speak in opposition to H.B. 214 on behalf of our more than 40,000 activists and members in Ohio.Chairman Huffman, Vice Chairwoman Gavarone, Ranking Member Antonio, and members of the House Health Committee, my name is Jaime Miracle. I am the deputy director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. I am here to speak in opposition to H.B. 214 on behalf of our more than 40,000 activists and members in Ohio.

Since the first version of this bill was introduced several years ago, supporters have claimed this legislation is not about abortion. Although I respect the convictions of these people, I must unequivocally disagree. If this bill is not about abortion, why is its sole purpose banning the provision of abortion services to a specific group of women in our state? Why is the only criminal punishment in this bill the criminalization of doctors who provide abortion care? The true motive of this bill is the same as all the other abortion bans recently enacted, or under consideration by the Ohio Legislature: in the short-term, to limit access to a health care procedure; and in the long term, to ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade, making abortion illegal in our country. Just like many of those other proposals, this bill is an unconstitutional restriction on pre-viability abortion. A federal judge in Indiana has just permanently blocked a similar bill in our neighboring state.

Beyond the unconstitutionality of H.B. 214, we have serious concerns about the imprecise language used in this bill. As written, this bill would forbid a physician from performing, inducing, or attempting to perform or induce an abortion if “the person has knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion, in whole or in part,” due to a “test result indicating Down syndrome,” a “prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome,” or “any other reason to believe” the fetus has Down syndrome.

How would the court define “knowledge” and what would be considered “any other reason to believe” the fetus had Down syndrome? Would a doctor have cause to believe any woman over age 40 (who, because of advanced maternal age, has a higher risk of having a child with Down syndrome) would possibly be terminating the pregnancy because of a potential Down syndrome diagnosis? How would a doctor be able to prove that he or she had no reason to believe this was the case? Would “knowledge” include knowing that a woman had a diagnostic test for Down syndrome without knowing the outcome of the test? Or would “knowledge” only be if the woman specifically told the doctor she was having the abortion at least in part because of a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis?

What if a woman had received a potential Down syndrome diagnosis and decided to carry the pregnancy to term, but then something else happened to complicate either her health or the health of the fetus? Would this bill block a doctor from being able to provide lifesaving abortion care to a pregnant woman in crisis just because her medical record shows a positive test result for Down syndrome? This bill has absolutely no protections for a doctor treating a woman in a life-threatening situation or a condition that threatens her long-term health. What happens to that woman when her doctor’s hands are tied by this Ohio General Assembly? Or what about a pregnancy where Down syndrome and another more serious life-threatening condition is present in the fetus. Does the Down syndrome diagnosis still count as “in part” for the woman deciding to have an abortion and block a doctor from carrying out her wishes to end a pregnancy that will never end in a live baby?

This type of uncertainty would create a chilling effect on the medical profession in Ohio. Doctors would face a fourth-degree felony and the loss of their medical license if they thought they followed the law, but a local prosecutor decided that they didn’t do enough to fit the prosecutor’s interpretation of the definition of “knowledge” or they treated a woman who was in a medical crisis of her own or her fetus where a Down syndrome diagnosis was also present.

When a woman faces a complicated medical diagnosis during pregnancy there are a million things that go through her mind. Some of the questions she will try to answer include:

  • Can I raise a child with disabilities?
  • Do I have access to health care?
  • Are there services for people with disabilities in my community?
  • Can I take the time off work needed to take care of my child?
  • Do I have maternity leave so that my child and I can figure out this complicated diagnosis?
  • Do I have access to specialists to help my child develop, as well as medical professionals to treat possible medical complications?
  • Does my school system have adequate programs in place to educate my child so that they can grow to their full potential?
  • Do I have the support system I need to navigate this new world?

Does this legislation help address any of these issues? No, it does not. The future of Medicaid expansion in Ohio remains uncertain. This is a program that families across the state who have children with special needs rely on to help take care of their children’s complicated healthcare needs. Congress has failed to re-authorize the CHIP child health program, leaving the future of coverage for 9 million children and pregnant women at risk. During the debate on how to “repeal and replace” the affordable care act, Congress proposed completely eliminating the Medicaid expansion and instead providing block grants to states to run the program. These block grants would have woefully underfunded the Medicaid program and, according to disability rights groups across the nation, left millions without the healthcare services they needed. Thirteen of the 19 sponsors of H.B. 214 are also sponsors or co-sponsors of H.C.R 6, a resolution that urges congress to eliminate the Medicaid expansion in the ACA and replace it with block grants that will leave people with disabilities without the care and coverage they need.

According to the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities, special education funding in Ohio fell $210 million dollars short of what was needed. Our nation as a whole, and specifically our state, falls woefully behind in the provision of paid leave for workers. How are these families supposed to be able to take care of a child with special needs when 45.9% of workers in our state have no access to paid leave, forcing a parent to have to choose between their child’s needs and losing their job?

If the Ohio General Assembly truly wants to address the needs of families raising children with special needs, these are the issues that should be addressed. We at NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio strongly encourage you to do so.

During a pregnancy, a woman can be faced with many deeply personal and often complex decisions. Ultimately, decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child must be left to the woman and the counsel of those she trusts–her family, her health care provider, and her faith community—not the legislature. Thank you for this opportunity to address your committee. I urge you to vote no on H.B. 214 and am happy to try to answer any questions you may have.


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 safe & 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