Rep. Sykes on ABC 6

Tuesday State Reps. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and Greta Johnson (D-Akron), with House Democratic lawmakers and healthcare advocates, discussed policies in the state budget that would limit pregnancy care, family planning and breast and cervical cancer treatment for lower income Ohioans. The changes in healthcare coverage are being proposed as Ohio ranks second highest in the nation for infant mortality. 

“Ohioans still need these safety net services, and leaving them without coverage will increase our infant mortality rate and risk the health and well-being of Ohio families,” said Rep. Sykes. “Reducing unintended pregnancies and making sure women have access to prenatal care are two of the most critical things we can do to prevent infant mortality. The governor’s changes could set us back at a time when we should be making progress on reducing infant mortality in our state.”

The policy changes in the governor’s budget would eliminate programs for prenatal care, family planning, and cancer prevention and treatment coverage for pregnant women earning between $21,708 and $31,460, up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

The planned cuts were proposed despite U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data that suggests women who do not get prenatal care are three times more likely to have a baby born at low birth weight and five times more likely to have their baby die before their first birthday.

“When we cut access to prenatal care, we risk worsening our state’s already dismal infant mortality rate,” said Rep. Johnson. “I encourage my colleagues to take a stand against these harmful budget provisions. We cannot abandon families when they need us most.”

In 2012, Ohio’s infant mortality rate was 7.56 per 1,000 live births, a number that has remained stagnant while the nation’s overall infant mortality rate has been in decline, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio’s black infant mortality rate is the second worst in the nation, at nearly 14 deaths per 1,000 births.


Featured Posts

Crucial Consumer Protections Headed To Governor's Desk, Says Rep. Sykes


State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 123, a bipartisan effort to enact consumer protections for the thousands of Ohioans who utilize short-term loans every day. Borrowers in Ohio currently pay some of the highest rates in the nation for payday loans, with estimated average interest rates at over 500 percent.


Rep. Sykes Reminds Constituents To Prepare For Driver's License Renewal Changes


State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) wants to remind Akron residents that beginning July 2, the procedure for renewing a driver’s license in Ohio will change. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will now mail new driver’s license cards to the applicant’s home address. A temporary card will be issued at the BMV until the official card arrives in the mail, about 10 days later. Officials say this change will reduce fraud and counterfeit licenses.


Sykes Statement On Profiling By Capitol Square Security


State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today issued the following statement in response to the latest in a string of incidents where she and other black women lawmakers have been subjected to additional security measures when entering the Ohio Statehouse and other government office buildings. Upon entering the Riffe Center in Columbus last week, security officials stopped the Akron-area lawmaker despite her presenting her security access badge.