The Ohio House Judiciary Committee recently heard testimony on HB 108 and voted the bill out of committee. HB 108 was originally intended to create the Rape Crisis Trust Fund, a fund to aid rape crisis centers throughout the state. While this cause is a worthy one, the committee made changes to the substitute bill which calls into question the true motivation of the bill.
According to Gongwer
Under the substitute bill, government-based or nonprofit centers that refer rape victims to abortion clinics would be ineligible to receive the funding, except in cases of medical emergency. “Can you tell me why the General Assembly would be inserting itself into rape counseling?” she [Representative Pillich] asked the sponsors, Reps. Nan Baker (R-Westlake) and Kirk Schuring (R-Canton).
Adding these provisions seems unnecessary. There are several laws already in place which prevent public dollars from being used to fund abortions In 2010, in Ohio, 3,500 forcible rapes were reported to the police. This only includes rapes that were reported, more likely occurred and went unreported. Does it seem right to limit the treatment options that are available to women who have experienced this type of trauma?
Has the Republican party learned nothing from Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in 2010? Both men came under considerable fire after making incorrect and controversial statements regarding rape. The next thing we know the Ohio Senate will be suggesting, as Mourdock did, that pregnancy from rape is “something that God intended.”