Podcasts

NARAL’s The Morning After — September 24, 2015

NARAL’s The Morning After is on iTunes! Find our Podcast here: http://bit.ly/naralpodcast

This week, Jaime, Randi, and Gabe discuss the Emmys and the terrific speech by Viola Davis. Ms. Davis gets our That’s What She Said of the week for shining a light on racial inequality in roles for women. They also talk about Uzo Aduba, who won a supporting actress award for Orange is the New Black.

The US Senate blocked a 20-week abortion ban, and is still considering defunding Planned Parenthood. The most extreme opponents of abortion rights in Congress, led by Ohio’s Jim Jordan, are threatening to shut down the federal government is defunding language is not passed.

At the state level, defunding Planned Parenthood continues to be discussed, as does the bill to ban abortion following a positive prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. John Kasich promised to sign that bill, which earned him this week’s Walk of Shame.

We talk about Ohio’s Issue 1, which would fix legislative districts. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has endorsed Issue 1.

The #ShoutYourAbortion and #MenForChoice twitter campaigns were a success this week.

The Title IX Sports Report returns to celebrate Kent State Kicker April Goss becomes the second woman ever to score a point in an NCAA football game.

Finally, we invite you to join us at two Comedy for Choice events in the Let’s Get It On segment.

NARAL’s The Morning After is a production of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

Itunes

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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

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2, Blog Post

“A radical political ideology”

Rep. Stephanie Howse and Rep. Janine Boyd wrote an op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer explaining why John Kasich is wrong to support the Down syndrome abortion ban bill. Read their view on this abortion ban and then tell John Kasich he’s wrong.

BoydHowse3

Down syndrome abortion bill would impose ‘a radical political ideology’
Cleveland Plain Dealer — Sept. 20, 2015

Cutting through the rhetoric shows this bill is not about discrimination or even about Down syndrome, rather, it is about imposing a radical political ideology. HB 135 is another attempt to force a woman’s decision without offering support down the road.

No law understands every woman’s circumstances, her medical history or what is best for her family. We need laws that address the economic and educational hurdles Ohioans face everyday—not legislation that seeks only to divide us.

We’ve already heard from parents raising loved children with Down syndrome. They do not want future generations of women to have their choice taken away. They understand that each woman receiving a positive prenatal diagnosis for Down syndrome has a right to consider abortion with the counsel of her doctor, her family, and her faith. She must not be forced to accept what politicians decide for her.

Email Gov. Kasich using our secure web form.


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

2, Blog Post

Parents speak out against the Down syndrome abortion ban bill

Parents are speaking out following the report on the Down syndrome abortion ban bill in the New York Times. Four parents of children with Down syndrome have come forward to oppose Ohio’s House Bill 135. Read their stories and contact Ohio Gov. John Kasich and demand he stop legislation that attacks abortion rights by politicizing the lives of Ohio women and their families.

In reading about HB 135, I was very upset to see that the legislatures in Ohio are using people with DS to chip away at the abortion issue. I have a 3 year old son with DS and we knew early on about our sons condition. We had a choice and we decided to keep our son. This was a very tough decision for my wife and me, but I am glad we had such a choice. This enabled us to truly embrace what was coming our way versus feeling that this was being forced upon us by some unknown legislatures.

Today, I feel rather blessed that my son has DS. He has truly been a blessing to our family. I only hope that I can teach him as much as he has already taught me in just 3 years. We should all spend time with people who have DS, they have a lot to teach the world if we would only take the time to listen.

If our legislatures truly care about the people with DS, then I would love to see them take this opportunity to create a more inclusive community for people with such development issues, not use people like my son to politicize an issue.

Children with DS are sometimes born with severe heart conditions, hearing problems, eye sight concerns and many other medical issues that need financial assistance. My child attends an early childhood development school, which cost over $12,000 per year. Over 50% of the students within my sons school need some type of financial aid. It has now been proven that by working with children with DS from 18 months to 6 years old that they can mainstream into a more traditional learning environment and become productive members of the community.

If you really care about the DS community let’s go beyond just the recently passed ABLE act and truly provide financial aid for early childhood development and supplemental insurance to cover all of the un-usual medical needs that arise with having an extra chromosome.  Whatever you do – please stop using my son to politicize your own agenda.

Barry Rosenberg, Texas
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio

If I Knew My Daughter Had Down Syndrome, I Would Have Aborted Her – All Women Should Have That Right

Excerpts: This is an issue that hits close to home for me: If I had had a prenatal diagnosis, I would have obtained an abortion. Today, I am beyond grateful that I didn’t. But I cannot ever in any circumstances imagine insisting others not have that right. …

At night, when Johanna’s asleep, I slip into her room and watch her, her blonde hair spilling over her pillow, her hands clutching her Barbies in a death grip. She yawns and curls up in a fetal position, slightly snoring, and I am filled with a surge of love for her that makes me realize that yes, I will do anything to help her thrive and succeed.

I will tell you what won’t help her, though: Legislation forcing women to go through with unwanted pregnancies in the misguided belief that it will advance her life, or the quality of life of other people with Down syndrome.

Hallie Levine

Don’t politicize my son over Down syndrome

Excerpts: I’m the father of a boy with Down syndrome. I spend much of my life trying to make the world a better place for him. In doing so, I find common cause with liberals and conservatives from around the country, as we focus on issues like education, employment, and fighting stigma. …

Here’s the most frustrating thing for me: There is so much to complain about regarding our prenatal testing regime, the way we talk about Down syndrome, stigma against all kinds of people with disabilities, the lack of educational and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and more. There’s lots of work to do. The best way to get people to choose to carry a fetus with Down syndrome to term is to make the words “Down syndrome” less scary. That’s hard. It’s not politically useful. So instead, we’ve got bills like HB 131 in Ohio.

David Perry, Illinois

Someone is Missing From the Debate on Ohio’s Bill to Ban Down Syndrome Abortions

Excerpts: I do not support this kind of legislation –even though our son has Down syndrome. I am pro-choice which means I support whatever reasons a woman chooses for having an abortion.

I do however want more people like my son in the world which bucks the prevalent trend to want fewer people like him.

Am I comfortable with the fact that 60 – 90% of women chose to abort a fetus found to have Down syndrome? No, I’m not. In fact, It angers me. That anger however is not directed at the woman having the abortion. It is at our medical community in its supreme ignorance insisting on relaying antiquated information about Down syndrome to women at what is likely the most vulnerable time in their life.

I place blame as well on our insistence that disability be seen as a profound disadvantage in a society that places an inordinate emphasis on normal. The greatest disability our son faces is what people think of him not his Down syndrome.

Kari Wagner-Peck, Maine


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

Podcasts

NARAL’s The Morning After — August 27, 2015

NARAL’s The Morning After is on iTunes! Find our Podcast here: http://bit.ly/naralpodcast

This week, Jaime, Randi, and Gabe discuss Ohio’s Down Syndrome abortion ban bill, including coverage in the New York Times, LA Times, FoxNews, and CNN. Our Kellie Copeland gets the That’s What She Said award of the week for calling Ohio Gov. John Kasich a phony.

We’ll discuss Ohio Right to Life‘s support for Sen. Marco Rubio. They hosted the Republican presidential candidate after he made extreme remarks on abortion without exception. Kasich says he supports rape, incest , and life of the mother exceptions; but none of the bills he’s signed have them.

The Walk of Shame award goes to jerks near the campus of The Ohio State University who hung rapey banners on move-in day.

Finally, we invite you to join us in Toledo for Pride as Randi lists our upcoming activities in the Let’s Get It On segment.

NARAL’s The Morning After is a production of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

Itunes

TheMorningAfter_1400px


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

2, Blog Post

Recent media on the Down Syndrome abortion ban

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Ohio Governor John Kasich has the worst record on abortion, and you can read about the latest threat in the New York Times. They ran a front page report on Ohio’s House Bill 135, which bans abortion following a positive prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. The New York Times editorial board felt such strong opposition to the bill, they released an editorial against it as well.

We believe we should all work to ensure that people with disabilities are treated with equality and dignity. However, this bill does nothing to help people with disabilities or their families. It is just another abortion ban to chip away at women’s reproductive freedom.

Email John Kasich using this link. Tell him to put an end to the attacks on women.

New York Times report: Ohio Bill Would Ban Abortion if Down Syndrome Is Reason

“This is interference with a medical decision following a complicated diagnosis,” said Kellie Copeland, the executive director of Naral Pro-Choice Ohio. “For us, it comes down to who makes the decision and who’s going to have to live with it. Not knowing the family and the circumstances, the legislature can’t possibly take into account all the factors involved.”

New York Times editorial: Abortion and Down Syndrome

“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.”

Fox News: Ohio mulls Down syndrome abortion ban, Kasich mum for now

“We believe we should all work to ensure people with disabilities are treated with equality and dignity. However, we oppose this ban because it interferes with the medical decisions of Ohioans and does nothing to help people with disabilities or their families,” Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, told FoxNews.com. Copeland said she believes it will be an “uphill battle” to oppose the legislation, but people have flooded her group’s phone lines with calls offering donations to fight it. “We have to make it clear to Gov. Kasich that this is not good health care, this is not what the people of Ohio want,” Copeland said. “This ban would encourage patients to keep information from their doctors and that is bad medicine.”

CNN: Don’t politicize my son over Down syndrome

“Ohio Republicans and anti-abortion activists want to use my son as a wedge issue. When their Legislature returns in the fall, it will almost certainly pass HB 131 — a bill that makes it a felony to perform an abortion based on a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Gov. John Kasich, who is competing for the GOP nomination for president, will certainly sign it.”

WKYC: Ohio legislature considering anti-abortion measure regarding Down syndrome

Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, doesn’t agree. “The bottom line is, who makes this decision is the person who has to live with this decision, this bill says that a family that’s facing a complicated medical diagnosis cannot make their own medical decision, and they’ve put that decision in the hands of politicians who’ve never met them,” said Copeland. Copeland knows she has an uphill battle. She says the majority of Ohio lawmakers are likely inclined to pass the measure. And although he hasn’t commented on this particular issue, Governor John Kasich has enacted sixteen different restrictions to abortion access and half of the abortion clinics in Ohio have closed, according to Copeland.


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

2, Blog Post

UPDATED: Attacking families facing Down Syndrome

Rep. Tim Derickson (614) 644-5094

***UPDATE*** The committee voted 9-3 to pass HB 135. This vote followed the rejection of FOUR amendments asking for increased support for families choosing to raise a child with Down Syndrome. Two amendments were rejected by Committee Chair Rep. Tim Derickson without a vote.

  1. REJECTED Amendment 1: Paid maternity leave for women choosing to raise a child with Down Syndrome. Amendment was tabled by committee vote.
  2. REJECTED Amendment 2: Paid sick leave for women choosing to raise a child with Down Syndrome. Amendment was rejected without a vote by Committee Chair Rep. Tim Derickson.
  3. REJECTED Amendment 3: Financial assistance for women choosing to raise a child with Down Syndrome. Amendment was rejected without a vote by Committee Chair Rep. Tim Derickson.
  4. REJECTED Amendment 4: Request to delay implementation of law if passed, from 90 days to 120 days after bill signing. Amendment was tabled by committee vote.

Members of the Ohio House Committee on Community and Family Advancement are trampling on the doctor-patient relationship. They are specifically targeting women and families making a difficult decision following a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. House Bill 135 unconstitutionally removes the ability of a physician to offer abortion options to women following a positive test. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio opposes any legislation that removes a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortion care.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland: “Every Ohioan should be free to make their own decisions about whether to continue a pregnancy, put a child up for adoption, or choose an abortion, especially when facing complicated medical diagnosis during a pregnancy. She should be able to do so with the counsel of her doctor, her family, and her faith and not have to worry about political interference.”

Copeland continues: “This legislation does nothing to aid individuals living with Down Syndrome and their families who love and support them. Shame on Ohio Right to Life and the Kasich administration for failing to offer real aid to families living with Down Syndrome. This is another example of their misplaced priorities.”

The Toledo Blade offered terrific analysis of the bill:

Of all the outrageous attacks on women’s health-care choices that Ohio’s anti-abortion movement has advanced in recent years, its latest proposal — a bill that would outlaw abortion after a fetus is diagnosed with Down’s syndrome — is one of the most invasive and extreme yet.

The bill would make Ohio the second state to ban abortions after a fetal anomaly is diagnosed. As many as 90 percent of pregnancies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome end in abortion, because most of the affected families don’t want to — or don’t have the resources to — raise a special-needs child.

Leaders of Ohio Right to Life, one of the chief architects of the bill, frame it as a discrimination issue. This disingenuous justification masks the real goal of the anti-abortion movement: to claw back women’s right to choose.

Lawmakers know that most Ohioans don’t support such extreme restrictions, but the Republican-gerrymandered General Assembly doesn’t represent all citizens equally. More than two-thirds of Ohio lawmakers oppose abortion, even though polls suggest that most Ohio voters favor abortion rights.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio offered testimony in opposition to the bill on June 2:

Video from Marc Kovac at Ohio Capital Blog.


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

Pregnant

2, Blog Post

Is maternity leave important to women? (Duh.)

PregnantQuestions during the June 2 hearing on the Down Syndrome abortion ban (HB 135) got interesting. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Deputy Director Jaime Miracle got a pair of questions far more telling about the understanding of how economic policies supported by the Republican majority of the legislature affects abortion rates in ways they don’t understand. Watch the exchange from 2:35 to 4:50 in the video below:

Full committee video available from Marc Kovac at http://blogs.dixcdn.com/capitalblog/down-syndrome-and-abortion/

Rep. Bill Hayes (R-Harrison Township) questions why the witness included maternity leave in her list of factors women might worry about when making a decision on whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. Asking “what is the child’s role in this?” Rep. Hayes seemed bewildered that a working woman facing giving birth to a child with developmental disabilities might need time off to provide care. Because most employers in Ohio do not offer paid maternity leave, many women are forced to make difficult decisions during every pregnancy. Having a child that needs extra care, possibly critical medical attention, places an extra burden on a family. Most families cannot afford to have one wage-earner take unpaid leave for any reason (especially if she’s the sole provider).

Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem) followed up with a nearly identical line of attack, asking if NARAL approved of a woman factoring in paid sick leave in her decision to keep a pregnancy or have an abortion. Ms. Miracle answered this and other questions by re-stating that the decision is up to the woman. Whatever her reasons, the decision is personal and should be made without judgment from politicians.

For parents, having paid sick leave is frequently what keeps them employed. You cannot be both a parent and an employee if you cannot take time when your child is vomiting or spiking a fever or having an asthma attack. This bill targets women choosing an abortion following a prenatal diagnosis of a medical complication, specifically Down Syndrome. Every working woman affected by this bill needs paid sick leave. 

In addition to the immediate impact that paid maternity leave and paid sick leave have on parents, many, many other factors are part of a woman’s decision to raise a family or have an abortion.

  • Income is a primary factor, Republican efforts to block increasing the minimum wage make it financially impossible for many women to bring another child into their family.
  • Access to affordable health care is key. Republican refusal to fully implement Obamacare and efforts to stop Medicaid expansion will both lead to increased rates of abortions.
  • Access to comprehensive sex education and affordable contraception is a proven tool to lower abortion rates. Republican politicians (and a few jerk Democrats!) have blocked schools from offering an age-appropriate curriculum.
  • Affordable housing, public transportation, and food stamps all make it easier for women to raise families while working.

The one policy that Republicans look to as a way to stop abortions doesn’t work: banning them. Legal abortions are safe abortions. Illegal abortions are just as frequent, but unsafe for women.

If the Republican Party wants a “pro-life” agenda, it’s going to need to overhaul it’s whole economic platform.


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