OH House Launches Attack on Women's Reproductive Rights
Yesterday, the Ohio Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved three extreme anti-abortion bills in what women's reproductive rights advocates are calling "anti-women's day" in Ohio.
The Ohio House voted 54 to 43 along party lines to pass the heartbeat bill, which would ban abortions after the fetal heartbeat is detected, which may be as early as 6 weeks gestation when many women do not even know they are pregnant yet. Representative Connie Pillich (D-OH) stated, "This bill gives the government the ultimate power, the ultimate power to intrude upon the most personal and intimate decisions of our lives, of women's lives, frankly."
According to Reuters, Ohio Right to Life has voiced its concerns about the constitutionality of the bill, which challenges the US Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade giving women the right to obtain an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, which is typically around 24 weeks. The bill will now go to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it is expected to pass, and be signed into law by Republican Governor John Kasich.
The House also voted 64 to 32 on an anti-abortion bill, backed by Ohio Right to Life, that would ban abortions after 20 weeks unless a doctor determines the fetus is not viable. In addition, the House voted 59 to 39 to exclude coverage in private insurance policies for abortion services in the to-be-set-up insurance exchange for the Affordable Care Act, even when people pay for it with their own money. These bills will go to the state Senate, where they are expected to pass.
Media Resources: Reuters 6/28/11; Columbus Dispatch 6/28/11
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .