Great news out of Ohio! In a double victory for women’s health, Ohio legislators called off two controversial bills that would have restricted women’s access to make their own health care decisions.
After more than four anti-women’s health bills became law since the 2011-2012 legislature began, Ohioans had enough! They sent more than 211,000 letters calling on legislators to put an end to these dangerous and extreme bills, and their voices were heard loud and clear.
Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus showed he was willing to put women’s health above politics, by acknowledging the work Planned Parenthood does every day in the state: "From my perspective, you have to look at the entirety of the work that is done by Planned Parenthood, and I believe that they offer much-needed services that are not offered other places.”
With this in mind, the Senate stopped these bills — one that could have enacted the most restrictive abortion ban in the country and another that was designed to defund Planned Parenthood.
While these bills may be dead in the current session, Planned Parenthood supporters and advocates are calling on legislators to continue to put politics aside and put women’s health first in the remainder of the lame duck session and in 2013.
This great victory happened because of the fearless supporters and activists from across the state of Ohio. When the bill designed to defund Planned Parenthood was pushed forward, Ohioans sent 3,064 petition signatures, 138,121 e-mails to legislators, 1,487 e-mails to the Governor, and made more than 1,453 calls to legislators. They packed the hearing rooms, and had more than 40 letters to the editors published, advocating against this anti-women’s health bill.
When the “heartbeat” bill, that could ban abortion as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant, came down the pike, Ohioans did not sit on the sidelines. They sent 73,356 e-mails to their legislators and made more than a thousand calls, with hundreds of visits to their local legislator’s offices.
The fight is far from over as a bill that would ban abortion under certain circumstances, along with the appointment of Michael Gonidakis — the President of Ohio Right to Life and staunch opponent of women’s health — to a five-year term on the State Medical Board.