Fresh off Tuesday’s election, the GOP majority in Ohio’s legislature returned to Columbus with a bang, indicating they will take up legislation in both Chambers to roll back women’s healthcare options.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that supporters of the so-called Heartbeat Bill (HB 125) have reached a compromise with Ohio Right to Life, an anti-abortion group that originally opposed the bill for being too extreme. HB 125 bans all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detectable, which can often occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Its only exception is for medical emergencies. No exceptions exist for instances of rape, incest or the long-term health of a woman.
Compromise among abortion foes was the last roadblock to the bill’s passage, as Senate President Tom Niehaus refused to move the bill without a deal. No specifics of the compromise were revealed, but we are hearing that the bill could see action in the Senate the week after Thanksgiving.
In a separate move, House Republicans — who lost the state’s popular vote and failed to add substantially to their majority even running in newly-redrawn GOP-leaning districts — are back in familiar territory, reviving legislation that eliminates healthcare options for many of Ohio’s poor and rural women. House Bill 298 (info) effectively blocks the distribution of public funds to organizations that provide abortion services or referrals, cutting off these funds from reaching Planned Parenthood.
This marks the bills fourth hearing, but at the first three, after lots of misinformation, only one supporter of Planned Parenthood was allowed to speak. And the House has penciled in a possible vote in the Wednesday hearing, indicating they’re not interested in hearing much from opponents and prefer to rush it to the full House for a final vote.
The hearing will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 14 in the House Health and Aging Committee, located in Room 116 of the Ohio Statehouse.
These are only two of fifteen anti-women bills introduced by this General Assembly. For a full list of legislation affecting women, visit our legislation tracking page.