House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today issued the following statement in response to Gov. Kasich signing House Bill 294, legislation defunding Planned Parenthood and groups that contract with the organization: 


“The vast majority of Ohioans support Planned Parenthood because they know it opens the doors to healthcare for underserved populations that have trouble accessing comprehensive healthcare services like cancer screenings and domestic violence prevention initiatives. From low-income urban centers to remote rural communities, Ohioans from all walks of life turn to Planned Parenthood in times of medical need.” 


“Planned Parenthood provides comprehensive healthcare to some 80,000 Ohioans each year. By defunding Planned Parenthood, the governor is defunding pelvic exams and pap tests, breast and cervical cancer screenings, colposcopies and cryotherapy. House Bill 294 puts tens of thousands of women at risk by stripping away funding of essential life saving health care programs and procedures.


“Through their family planning services and prenatal care, Planned Parenthood helps families grow through intentional and healthy pregnancies. As Ohio continues the premature loss of babies at an unacceptably high rate, the governor has chosen to defund healthcare centers on the front lines of the infant mortality crisis. 


“Our state should be focused on increasing the quality of life for Ohioans through commonsense programs like paid family leave to make sure nobody has to choose between losing a job and taking care of a newborn. I am disappointed Gov. Kasich did not take a moderate approach to his consideration of this politically-charged, counterintuitive legislation that could actually increase the number of abortions in our state as Ohioans lose an accessible, trusted source for contraception and prenatal care.”

 
 
 
  
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Bipartisan Redistricting Reform Clears Last Legislative Hurdle Before Voters Have Final Say In May

 

Following months of negotiation, the Ohio House today passed Senate Joint Resolution 5, bipartisan legislation that puts a constitutional amendment before voters in May to restrict congressional gerrymandering in the state. 

“After months of negotiation, thousands of Ohioans speaking out, and several false starts, we’re closer to stopping congressional gerrymandering today than we have ever been before. Though imperfect, this latest plan represents one of the most fundamental tenets of our American democracy – compromise,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “We support this plan today, with the hope and expectation that it will help impart that same spirit and guiding principle of cooperation on Washington in the near future.”

Democratic House expressed concerns over several parts of the proposed plan that they see as loopholes that, in extreme cases, could still allow partisan congressional district rigging. Ultimately, most Democrats still supported the final language in the resolution.