Wednesday is supposed to be 82 degrees and mostly sunny; could you think of a better day to fight paternalistic, patriarchal politics? No? Me neither!
Ohio politics have once again made national news with the reintroduction of the “Heartbeat Bill.” This bill comes after a string of anti-abortion measures, seen as some of the most restrictive in the country, have popped up in state legislation this summer. In response, Ohioans are protesting at the statehouse this Wednesday, October 2 at 11:30 am. We need to show our representatives that the women (and allied men) of Ohio will not sit idly by as they limit our reproductive choices. Be part of this movement, and join some fellow Denisonians at Wednesday’s “We Won’t Go Back” rally! Get more information from the event’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/169114606612957/), and get in touch with Katie Buescher (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to ride to the event with other DU students.
Here is a look at what we are fighting against by protesting in Columbus:
House Bill 200
The bill mandates a 48-hour wait period, which is double the current wait, for women to think about their decision. They can also think about the following “misinformation”:
1. Doctors have to inform patients of the recent study linking abortion to breast cancer, even though many medical professionals and groups, such as the American Cancer Society, have disputed these claims.
2. Ultrasounds must be performed prior to an abortion, including if the pregnancy is the result of a rape. The ultrasound must include a description of “all relevant features,” such as “an audible heartbeat, if present.”
3. Doctors must provide women with a “conflict-of-interest” disclaimer noting the amount of money the doctor would make from the procedure.
4. Doctors must also “describe the development of nerve endings of the embryo or fetus and the ability of the embryo or fetus to feel pain at each stage of development,” even though the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists claim fetuses do not feel pain until the third trimester.
5. Finally, in order to waive any of these steps, a woman must have a medical emergency, which now only includes risks that would result in the woman’s death.
Soon after the introduction of House Bill 200, Governor Kasich signed House Bill 59, which outlines the new budget. This budget:
1. Requires women seeking an abortion to have a trans-abdominal ultrasound.
2. Cuts Planned Parenthood funding by placing them last on the list of family-planning organizations.
3. Cuts funding from rape crisis centers if they counsel victims of assault about abortion.
4. Increase funding to “crisis pregnancy centers,” which have come under fire for providing false medical information. They also refuse to refer women to abortion clinics.
5. Does not allow abortion clinics to transfer patients to public hospitals if complications arise because of the procedure. Abortion clinics must now have a transfer agreement with a private hospital in order to remain open.
The inclusion of these amendments was not open for public input before the Governor signed the bill.
Finally, in August, legislators divulged their plan to reintroduce the “heartbeat bill.” This bill would ban abortions after a heartbeat can be detected. This can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy, which could mean excluding abortion as an option for women before they even know that they are pregnant. Last year, this bill passed in the House but was buried by the Senate.
Now, let’s show Ohio’s lawmakers that these bills won’t fly! See you at the rally!