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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The Ohio House Democratic Caucus today responded to the newly unveiled GOP unemployment compensation bill that freezes unemployment compensation for ten years, increases unemployment insurance tax rates from .02 to .03 percent for employers, and adds a new ten-percent tax on employees.

“As Americans we believe in getting paid for the work you do. But now, after helping to build our bottom line in Ohio, working people will take home less pay for doing the same job under this legislation,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “That’s wrong.”

The legislation also reduces the amount of time a person remains eligible for unemployment insurance by two weeks, from 26 to 24.

“An automatic pay cut is not what most families and people have in mind when I talk to them about the priorities at their statehouse,” added Leader Strahorn. “People are concerned about owning a home, sending kids to school and trying to save what they can to get ahead.”