Why We’re Watching Ohio
On Election Day, Ohioans came out and voted to protect a woman’s ability to make her own personal medical decision without interference from politicians. By re-electing pro-women’s health candidates like President Barack Obama and Senator Sherrod Brown, they sent a clear and unmistakable message.
Unfortunately, lawmakers didn’t waste any time ignoring the voters’ will. They got right to work in the lame-duck session scheduling votes on a number of controversial bills including one to defund Planned Parenthood health centers in Ohio. Ohio Senate leadership also signaled an interest in continuing hearings on the “heartbeat” abortion ban bill, which has already passed in the House and could ban abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy (before a woman may know she is pregnant).
While these bills were not ultimately brought to the floor in the current session, thanks to the bipartisan leadership of Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus, Planned Parenthood supporters and advocates are calling on legislators to continue to put politics aside and put women’s health first.
In the final days of the lame-duck session, Michael Gonidakis — the president of Ohio Right to Life and staunch opponent of women’s health — was confirmed to a five-year term on the State Medical Board. Gonidakis leads the anti-women’s health organization that wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and ban all abortion with no exceptions. His confirmation makes him the second Right to Life member sitting on the state medical board (meaning two out of the three citizen seats on the board are held by anti women’s health opponent.)
As the 2012 state legislative session ends, and the new one begins in January, women will be watching and will continue to fight for their right to make their own health care choices, without the unnecessary interference of politicians. Through phone calls, e-mails, packing committee hearing rooms, and protesting outside our state capitol, Ohio women are showing they’ll continue to act in defense of these freedoms, no matter what.
The appointment of Gonidakis sent a clear message that the function of the Medical Board is not to license and regulate the medical profession, but to foster one particular ideological perspective. Positioning ideology on the same level as public health and safety is unethical and dangerous. Send a thank-you to those who opposed his appointment.
- Double Victory for Womenâ€™s Health in Ohio | Jacqueline M.
- Ohio Editorial Boards Write Against Defunding Planned Parenthood | Jacqueline M.
- WATCH: Women Reject Out-of-Touch Politicians, Ohio Legislators Reject Voters | Jacqueline M.
- What We're Reading - Ohio House Committee votes to defund Planned Parenthood, the United Nations declares birth control a basic right, and tragic news in Ireland. | Jacqueline M.
- Ohio Legislature Ignoring Election Results: Renewing Attacks on Women's Health | Gabriel M.