In early March, Freedom of Choice Ohio announced their 5th Annual Lobby Day on Wednesday, April 21st at the Ohio Statehouse. The event held each spring brings a message of pregnancy prevention through increased sex education and access to birth control.
Today, Ohio Right to Life sent an email to their membership saying they have also scheduled a Statehouse lobby day. On April 21st.
Is this a huge deal? Not really, and it would be less important if Ohio Right to Life advocated for policies that were effective in reducing unintentional pregnancies.
Instead, ORTL's legislative director, Mark Lally, has provided opponent testimony to the Ohio Prevention First Act (HB 293) and the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies (CARE) Act (HB 333).
Will ORTL members be advocating for effective methods that reduce the need for abortion? Or will they be asking legislators to push more go-nowhere bills introduced purely for political grandstanding?
Thanks to members of Congress who
voted for Health Care Reform!
Over the past year, Planned Parenthood has been working hard to pass health care reform. Today, we are looking back on our journey which resulted in a historic achievement for all Americans and for women's health.
While we remain concerned over the abortion provisions, the bill as signed by President Obama also includes many pieces that Planned Parenthood fought very hard to be included. This legislation will extend coverage to tens of millions of women and families, guarantee women access to affordable lifesaving screenings for cervical and breast cancer and other preventive tests, protect women against gender discrimination by private insurers, end the practice of dropping coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and significantly increase insurance coverage of preventive reproductive health care, including family planning. This bill represents a major step forward for women's health, taking its place in American history alongside passage of the Medicare and Medicaid bills.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio wishes to extend a hearty THANKS to those legislators who voted YES for health care reform and for women!
Mary Jo Kilroy
Dennis J. Kucinich
Spanks to Senators Tim Grendell and Shannon Jones
for seeking to restrict access to abortion
Two weeks ago, Senators Tim Grendell (R-Chesterland) and Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) introduced Senate Bill 242. If these names sound familiar, it is because this is not the first time they have attempted to restrict access to abortion care. This time, they are targeting minors.
When a young girl or teenager becomes pregnant, we are hopeful that she will be able to confide in her parents and explore the best options available to her. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Some girls do not have a loving, caring relationship at home and could be at risk for violent reactions when a parent finds out she is pregnant. For cases such as this, a judicial bypass is a legal process by which a court may grant her the right to obtain an abortion without her parents being contacted.
Asking for a judicial bypass can already be intimidating for a young girl or teenager. Senate Bill 242 proposes to revise the procedures for a court to grant a judicial bypass, making it more overwhelming for the pregnant teen and more difficult for a judge to exercise judgment based on the individual facts and circumstances of each case.
It is clear that Senate Bill 242 is motivated by politics and will only serve to compromise the health and safety of young women. If passed, Senate Bill 242 will make it more difficult for young women, many of whom already have difficult relationships with their parents or guardians, to obtain an abortion and could likely cause some to resort to illegal or self-induced abortions.
If Senator Grendell and Senator Jones were truly concerned about Ohio teens, they would support the Ohio Prevention First Act (SB 176) to help reduce teen pregnancies by increasing access to honest sex education and contraceptives.
Freedom of Choice Ohio is a coalition of progressive, pro-choice organizations across Ohio working together to protect access to safe, legal reproductive health services. They are holding their Lobby Day 2010 on April 21, 2010, in cordingation with Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, and the Coalition for Family Health.
|"I've attended Lobby Day three years in a row and each time I learn something new. It's both a rally on the statehouse steps and an opportunity to meet other pro-choice supporters interested in reducing unintended pregnancies in Ohio. I'm reinvigorated by the energy of everyone attending and inspired by the speakers and workshops. The day is arranged so that meeting with my legislators is not at all intimidating. I hope to see you there!" - Adrienne Gavula|
"Prevention First is for every Ohioan. That is why we must combine our unique perspectives into one voice to help legislators understand the need for comprehensive sex education, assistance for rape victims, and access to birth control. This year, the Coalition for Family Health brings even more pro-prevention organizations to Lobby Day to help make our message come through loud and clear." - Coalition For Family Health Convener Judi Wolf
"As a state senator, I believe that it is immensely important to know and understand the people and communities that I represent. That is why it I deeply value my constituents’ opinions. When they call, write, or visit me, I always seriously consider what they have to say because they are taking the active step of advocating for causes and beliefs. Engaged citizenship is a cornerstone of a good democracy, and I love seeing people participate in the political process." - Senator Shirley Smith, 21st District
|"Ohio representatives need to understand not only the importance, but the necessity of common-sense legislation. Prevention First supports rape survivors, teaches kids accurate sex-ed and ensures fair and equitable access to family-planning information and services. What’s more common sense than that!?" - Ellen Weissfeld|
We need you to lend your voice as we speak out in support of commonsense legislation that seeks to improve the health of women and families in Ohio. You will join hundreds of other proactive and pro-choice Ohioans on this exciting day to learn about the Ohio Prevention First Act and lobby your legislator. We will provide you all the information, materials and inspiration you’ll need!
Early Bird Registration is available now through April 1st! Early registrants receive a reduced rate.
Are you planning on joining us from Cleveland? We are working to arrange bus travel for Lobby Day. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Please visit this website to complete the form to register. Because we must make appointments for you to meet with your legislators, everyone must pre-register for this event. Scholarships are available for those who cannot afford the registration fee. Please contact Jaime Miracle at (614) 221-2594 or FOCOhio@gmail.com for more information about scholarships. Once you register you will receive a Lobby Day packet with all the information you need to get ready for the day!
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