Ohio GOP Legislators Are Very Slow Learners

Last week, women turned out to vote in large numbers and delivered a clear message: lay off the attacks on our rights. Nowhere was this seen more clearly in the defeats of a couple of radical candidates for U.S. Senate, who nevertheless were widely expected to win in conservative states. Missouri's Claire McGaskill was considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats, while Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly was a long shot. In both state, Republican voters dumped a moderate in favor of a radical rightie in their primary.

And those two radical righties boldly showed women the depths of their contempt for and total misunderstanding of women. In Missouri, Todd Akin said that women can't get pregnant from rape because the body has "ways of shutting it down." And in Indiana, fellow crazy Richard Mourdock said that pregnancy resulting from rape was a gift from God.

Both candidates, long expected to win, lost in landslides, thanks in large part to women sick and tired of the radically escalated crusade against women's rights in the last two years..

Meanwhile, Ohio legislators, perhaps emboldened by a disgraceful gerrymander that ensures the Ohio General Assembly will not represent Ohio's citizens for the next decade (unless we keep putting Voters First Ohio on the ballot, which we should do), have decided that the most important thing they can do right now, immediately, with hardly a breather after the election, is once again take up trampling on Ohio's women and demonstrating their own special brand of ignorance and misogyny.

They are one again going to push the defunding of Planned Parenthood, an organization which singularly provides health care to economically challenged women, helping to assure not just healthier women but healthier babies and children. And they are again going to take up the radical Heartbeat Bill, a piece of religious hooey that these women-despising legislators pretend has a scientific basis.

They, of course, have yet to take up how Ohio is going to fund the education of additional poor children who will be born if abortions and contraception are both made more difficult and costly to get (affluent women will always have access to abortions, no matter what state legislators say).

Early this year, the pious mewlings of conservatives about "killing unborn children," were exposed for the woman-hating hypocrisy they are, when suddenly access to affordable birth control was attacked by the very same people who want to deny women access to abortion. This despite the fact that it's been proven over and over that the best way to decrease the number of abortions is to DECREASE UNPLANNED PREGNANCIES.

But when you don't really give a rat's ass about babies, unborn or otherwise, as proved by your dismissal of ideas to fund maternity care and childcare and public schools, and your real goal is to punish "bad" women for having sex, well, I'm sure the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops gets where you're coming from (most American Catholics don't agree).

Groups are urging people to call the legislators on the Health & Aging Committee, which is holding hearings on HB 298, which would effectively defund Planned Parenthood and strip hundreds of thousands of Ohio women of their most reliable source of health care.

They are also urging people to ask those legislators to support HB 281, Ohio Prevention First, which, by providing for pregnancy prevention, really WOULD have an impact on abortion without robbing women of their freedom and liberty. It's sponsored by state rep. Nickie Antonio of Lakewood; all her cosponsors are Democrats. Hmmm .... isn't THAT interesting? And predictable.

Here's a list of both Republican and Democratic legislators on the health and aging committee. Give Nickie a call and thank her for her work. Call Barbara Boyd, Nancy Garland, Kenny Yuko, Dan Ramos, and Bob Hagan and thank them for being among the cosponsors of Ohio Prevention First. And please call anti-choice Democrat Lorraine Fende and remind her that she is out of synch with not just Democrats but most women in Ohio.

I don't know what good it will do to call neanderthals like Lou Blessing and Lynn Wachtman, but be polite!


Lynn R. Wachtmann (R-75), Committee Chair, Phone: (614) 466-3760 Fax: (614) 719-3975
Anne Gonzales (R-19), Committee Vice-Chair, Phone: (614) 466-4847 Fax: (614) 719-6958
Richard N. Adams (R-79), Phone: (614) 466-8114 Fax: (614) 719-3979
Louis W. Blessing, Jr. (R-29), Phone: (614) 466-9091 Fax: (614) 719-3583
Mike Duffey (R-21), Phone: (614) 644-6030 Fax: (614) 719-6960
Bob D. Hackett (R-84), Phone: (614) 466-1470 Fax: (614) 719-6984
Brian Hill (R-94), Phone: (614) 644-6014 Fax: (614) 719-6994
Jay Hottinger (R-71), Phone: (614) 466-1482 Fax: (614) 719-3971
Terry Johnson (R-89), Phone: (614) 466-2124 Fax: (614) 719-6989
Dorothy Pelanda (R-83), Phone: (614) 466-8147 Fax: (614) 719-6983
Kirk Schuring (R-51), Phone: (614) 752-2438 Fax: (614) 719-6951
Barbara R. Sears (R-46), Phone: (614) 466-1731 Fax: (614) 719-6946
Marilyn Slaby (R-41), Phone: (614) 644-5085 Fax: (614) 719-6941
Ryan Smith (R-87), Phone: (614) 466-1366 Fax: (614) 719-6987

Lorraine M. Fende (D-62), Phone: (614) 466-7251 Fax: (614) 719-3962
Nickie J. Antonio (D-13), Phone: (614) 466-5921 Fax: (614) 719-3913
John Barnes, Jr. (D-12), Phone: (614) 466-1408 Fax: (614) 719-3912
Barbara Boyd (D-9), Phone: (614) 644-5079 Fax: (614) 719-0009
John Patrick Carney (D-22), Phone: (614) 466-2473 Fax: (614) 719-6961
Nancy J. Garland (D-20), Phone: (614) 644-6002 Fax: (614) 719-6959
Robert F. Hagan (D-60), Phone: (614) 466-9435 Fax: (614) 719-3960
Dan Ramos (D-56), Phone: (614) 466-5141 Fax: (614) 719-3956
Kenny Yuko (D-7), Phone: (614) 466-8012 Fax: (614) 719-0007

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