Friday 5

December 18, 2020

Barry Sheets
Legislative Consultant

You win some, you lose some in each battle,
but at the end of the day you keep on fighting the fight
to protect the defenseless. 
 

As we head into the celebration of the birth of our Savior
Jesus Christ, let us remember the victory has already been
won by Him, and we are to remain faithful to His call to carry
out His battle plan.

NEWS AND VIEWS
 

1Late hour shenanigans forced the blocking of a strong pro-life amendment (drafted by a pro-life attorney who has fought Planned Parenthood in court) to a pro-life bill in the House. Senate Bill 260, to Ban Telemedicine Abortions by requiring a physician to be physically present when the first of a series of drugs (RU-486) is administered to induce an abortion, was voted out of the House on a vote of 54-30 without amendments at nearly midnight on Thursday. RTLACO’s champion Rep. Candice Keller (sponsor of both the Heartbeat Act and the Life At Conception legislation) had filed and planned to offer an amendment to SB 260 to line up Ohio’s law with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on ultrasounds, prohibit state-supported entities from hiring or affiliating with abortion providers, and ensure women receive information on the possibility of contracting breast cancer and post-traumatic stress disorders from abortion. In a procedural move to block this amendment from being considered, Speaker Bob Cupp recognized Rep. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati who “moved the previous question” (a non-debatable motion) to end debate and bring the bill, without amendments, up for a vote. Seitz’s move was not much of a surprise, because he had written in a response email to Cincinnati Right to Life that “Ohio Right to Life wants no amendments to that bill.” Ohio Right to Life sent a letter and emails to House members specifically asking them to not take our amendment on SB 260. RTLACO will keep moving forward, and will be re-introducing those pieces as full bills in the 134th General Assembly, which starts in January 2021. Persevero!

2.  Good news from the Trump administration. On Wednesday, it was announced the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will block $200 million dollars in Medicaid funding to California because of the state’s violation of religious conscience protection rights by requiring all healthcare plans cover abortions.  If California doesn’t comply with the federal Weldon Amendment provisions and reverse their mandate, they will continue to lose $200 million dollars per quarter. HHS is also taking The University of Vermont Medical Center to court through the Department of Justice for violating employee religious conscience rights of a nurse who was forced to assist in an abortion procedure.

3. The season of the Good News has even more good news, this time from the U.S. Supreme Court! The Thomas More Society announced the Court ruled in favor of religious leaders in New Jersey who had to sue Governor Phil Murphy over discriminatory mandates which disproportionately affected houses of worship and treated them differently from other entities. The court then remanded the case back to the district court to reconsider their original ruling for the Governor’s order. Perhaps a certain Governor in Ohio would do well to pay attention to the way the courts are leaning on this issue.

4. It just wouldn’t be the Christmas season without a gift from our friends in the country of Hungary. This week, this God-fearing Parliament passed a measure to amend the country’s constitution to “protect children’s right to an identity conforming to their birth gender and ensures education in accordance with the values based on Hungary’s constitutional identity and Christian culture.” The amendment also provides that only married couples (man and woman) can adopt children. The amendment was approved on a vote of 134-45.  The vote was praised by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has led his homeland in a Christian revitalization that is a model for other countries claiming to be Christian.

5.  In confirmation of what pro-life believers already suspect, or as just a really, really sad parody effort, billboards have been placed in some states by The Satanic Temple (TST) promoting their “religious abortion ritual”. The group is trying to make a case that abortion is an actual part of their religion, so it can’t be regulated by states to prohibit abortions from being performed. According to their propaganda “The Satanic abortion ritual provides spiritual comfort and affirms bodily autonomy, self-worth, and freedom from coercive forces with the affirmation of TST’s Seven Tenets. The ritual is not intended to convince a person to have an abortion. Instead, it sanctifies the abortion process by instilling confidence and protecting bodily rights when undergoing the safe and scientific procedure.”
Come quickly, Lord, come quickly!

PROFILE

Each installment of the Friday Five will bring thumbnail profiles of key

policymakers and committees.
 

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio—Judge Jack Zouhary.
Judge Zouhary, born and raised in Toledo, took senior status on the Northern District Court’s Toledo division in 2019. Judge Zouhary received his B.A. from Dartmouth in 1973 and his J.D. from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1976. He worked in private and corporate practice from 1976 until 2005. In 2005, he became a Common Pleas judge in Lucas County.
In 2006, Zouhary was nominated by then-President George W. Bush to a vacancy on the Northern District. He was confirmed by the Senate in March 2006. One of Judge Zouhary’s focuses on the Court was the issue of the re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals. In 2009, he helped lead an effort to create the state’s first re-entry court, in order to help individuals re-transition into society and to lower recidivism. 

 

NOTE 

As the next two Fridays are holidays, the Friday 5

will be taking a break and will return the first week of January 2021. 

 

May each of you have the Blessings of Peace

and the Joy of your families giving thanks

to God for His son in this festive season! 

 

A Blessed Christmas, and a very Happy New Year to all!

 

Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati is a proud member organization of the 

Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio.