RIGHT TO LIFE ACTION COALITION OF OHIO
Barry Sheets, Legislative Consultant
March 1, 2019
March is coming in like a lion with pro-life legislation, Governor makes key cabinet pick, and there’s a steady heartbeat!
NEWS AND VIEWS
1. Governor Mike DeWine names Dr. Amy Acton as the new Director of the Ohio Department of Health, an agency key to the pro-life movement’s success. Acton, who formerly worked with the Columbus Foundation and the Ohio State University School of Public Health, has indicated she will “follow the law” regarding abortion-related issues which the agency addresses. Here is more on Dr. Acton: http://www.governing.
com/topics/health-human- services/tns-amy-acton-doctor- leads-ohio-doh.html
2. Opponent testimony was heard on Senate Bill 23 (Heartbeat Bill) on Tuesday. Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the ACLU along with their supporters testified over a five-hour span, with much of it centered on “not telling a woman what to do with her body” themes. Senators patiently listened through it, and Chairman Dave Burke was very gracious and accommodating to the witnesses. Their testimonies (along with the proponent testimonies of the previous week) can be found at: http://www.ohiosenate.gov/
committees/health-human- services-and-medicaid/ document-archive. On Wednesday, March 6th at 9 a.m., the fourth hearing on the bill will be held. Testimony will be taken from all positions, and there may be the introduction of a substitute bill. No vote is scheduled for next week.
3. House Bill 68- The House version of the Heartbeat Bill was given sponsor testimony from Representatives Ron Hood and Candice Keller on Tuesday. The sponsors fielded a number of questions from Democrat members of the committee, including questions signaling potential amendment attempts to add mental health exceptions, rape and incest exceptions, and “comprehensive” (condom-based) sex education mandates to the bill. With the new House rules barring the tabling of amendments as an option in committees,
members of this committee ( http://www.ohiohouse.gov/
committee/health) may need reminding why those exceptions have no place in the Heartbeat bill as hearings move forward. It is likely that the Senate version will be the vehicle, with the committee likely scheduling further hearings the week of March 18th.
4. House Bill 60-Representatives from many non-profits providing diapers to low-income families, including RTLACO member Dayton Right to Life’s Executive Director Margie Christie, testified at the House Ways and Means committee hearing on why the removal of tax from diapers is a great way to help improve infant health and reduce financial stress on families. Some Democrat members of the committee raised questions regarding the potential projected tax loss of $11.7 million per year. Ohio already removes taxes on such things as school clothes purchases, etc. and with a new budget being discussed soon, the sales tax loss would likely be mitigated in some fashion.
5. During hearings on life issues in both chambers, Democrat members have brought up ideas regarding pushing for eliminating the teaching of sexual abstinence (sexual risk avoidance) in public school Health classes in favor of “comprehensive” (condom-based, or sexual risk reduction) sex ed. Many people, including legislators, don’t have a clear idea of what “comprehensive” sex ed really is: teaching minor schoolchildren how to negotiate for “mutually-agreeable” sexual intimacy including condom use. Given both the inappropriate nature of such training, and the failure rate of prophylactics regarding disease and pregnancy, pro-life advocates should pay very close attention to this effort to drive young people toward Planned Parenthood’s propaganda as it will undoubtedly be brought up in legislation and amendments as the Assembly moves forward.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted
The former Speaker of the Ohio House, state Senator, and most recently Ohio Secretary of State is Ohio’s 66th Lieutenant Governor. Husted joined the DeWine ticket after mounting a brief campaign for Governor during the 2018 elections. Husted advocates strongly for adoption having been adopted himself. His focus in the DeWine administration is coordinating the newly-created “InnovateOhio” agency, focusing on technology advancements to improve state services.
Senator Theresa Gavarone (R)
The newly-appointed Senator from Bowling Green in the 2nd Senate District, Gavarone served four years in the Ohio House prior to moving to the Senate. An attorney and small business owner, Gavarone has been a consistent vote on life issues, and is a co-sponsor of the Senate version of the Heartbeat bill.
Representative Jack Cera (D)
Cera, who is in his second cycle serving Eastern Ohio’s 96th District, resides in Bellaire. Having formerly served in the 80’s to mid 90’s, Cera is serving his fourth and final consecutive term under term limits. Cera’s voting record has been consistent with the pro-abortion Democratic platform.
Representative Randi Clites (D)
A first-term member from Ravenna in Ohio’s 75th District, Clites has yet to cast votes on pro-life issues, but concerning is her endorsement by an Ohio political action committee called “Matriots” (www.matriotsohio.com)
focusing on female candidates, which lists as an endorsement factor their endorsees holding to “Dominion over our bodies” as a policy priority. Stating that they support women regardless of party affiliation, their list of endorsees are ardent pro-abortion Democrat women. Clites is a member of the House Health Committee and she will be presented with the Heartbeat bill to consider.
Representative Erica Crawley (D)
Representing Columbus’ 26th District in her first legislative term, Crawley is a Navy veteran and mother of two daughters. Crawley has yet to cast votes on life issues, but like Clites, was also an endorsee of the “Matriots” PAC.
Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati is a proud member organization of the