Rep. Clyde Files Second Protest On GOP Planned Parenthood Defunding Bill
Says House Speaker unconstitutionally denied first protest after shutting down debate
December 04, 2015
 
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State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) sent a memo to the House Clerk on November 20 protesting the silencing of debate on the Planned Parenthood defunding legislation, Sub. H.B. 294. On November 24, before the holiday break, the Clerk refused to print the protest in the House Journal. In response, Rep. Clyde today reaffirmed her constitutional right to protest in an updated memo of protest to the House Clerk.


“A legislator’s constitutional right to protest is undeniable. The refusal to publish my protest in the House Journal adds insult to the injury my colleagues and I experienced when we were not permitted to speak against the dangers of HB 294 on the House floor. It is especially troubling to see dissent silenced in light of the horrific violence that took place at a Colorado Planned Parenthood over the holiday. I will stand with Planned Parenthood and the women of Ohio always,” said Rep. Clyde.


A copy of Rep. Clyde’s latest protest letter to the House Clerk is below:


 


MEMORANDUM


To:                Brad Young


From:           State Representative Kathleen Clyde


Date:            December 4, 2015


Re:                Protest of Substitute House Bill 294


 


Pursuant to Article II, Section 10 of the Constitution of the State of Ohio which states, “Any member of either house shall have the right to protest against any act, or resolution thereof; and such protest, and the reasons therefor, shall, without alteration, commitment, or delay, be entered upon the journal,” I exercise my right to file the following protest to be entered upon the journal.


I, State Representative Kathleen Clyde, of House District 75, protest the Ohio House’s decision to end debate and vote to pass Sub. H.B. 294 while my Democratic colleagues and I were standing and asking to be recognized to speak on the bill.  


The reasons for my protest are largely captured in the speech I had planned to deliver:


This is a rare occasion today. The Ohio House is about to pass a bill that will increase the number of abortions in Ohio. That’s right. By cutting access to birth control, sex education and other vital services that are all part of women’s healthcare, House Bill 294 will increase unwanted pregnancies and abortions.


We are not even pretending anymore that the tidal wave of abortion restrictions are just about abortion. This bill and its many companions are about shaming, judging and controlling women. This bill attacks:



  • women’s choice to use birth control,

  • women’s and men’s sex education,

  • women’s safety,

  • women’s and men’s protection from STIs,

  • even women’s healthy pregnancies,

  • and all the pieces that are essential to women’s healthcare.


This bill is nonsensically trying to fence off abortion even further from all the other pieces of women’s healthcare and if that means those other healthcare services have to disappear, so be it. That’s what is really going on here. This bill will hurt women, girls, and the men who also choose Planned Parenthood.


The bill imposes a gag rule on any organization, not just Planned Parenthood, that provides rape and dating violence education, cancer care, infertility prevention, HIV/AIDS services, and infant mortality prevention IF that organization even mentions abortion as an option to women. With no exception for the life and health of the girl or woman.


Who is going to take over the programming that is offered by the experts at Planned Parenthood and other women’s clinics? Is it going to be all abstinence-only-until-marriage across the state? People that tell girls and women they are asking for it if they experience dating violence? Is that who we will entrust our education to now?  This bill uses Planned Parenthood as a stand-in punching bag for Ohio’s women. By defunding Planned Parenthood, you are showing women where they are on your priority list – the very bottom.


The demonizing of Planned Parenthood has led to vandalism and violence at clinics, broken doors, smashed offices and equipment, arson in some states. That means that women and men seeking birth control, well visits, STI treatment are having to go to clinics with ramped-up security and bulletproof glass.


I have frequently said there is a war on women in Ohio and in the country. At times it has felt that way. But we’ve crossed the line from war into something worse. Abuse of women. Violence against women. One of the many witnesses who spoke out against this bill said she discusses power-based forms of violence with her students. These are forms of violence that occur when someone in a position of authority uses their power or status to coerce, assault, or violate a person’s autonomy. She said “It seems to me, that these bills are, in fact, flying against the values of the Violence Against Women Act, because people (mostly men) in positions of authority are using their power to coerce women into unhealthy situations, close women’s health clinics, and silence women’s voices about sexual health options.”


This isn’t war. We had Veterans Day last week and I felt proud of the brave men and women who served our country in war, served with honor. There is no bravery and there is no honor in what we are doing to Ohio’s women with this bill. There is no bravery or honor in shaming women, judging women, taking away healthcare from women. There is no bravery or honor in what we are doing here today.


I stand with Planned Parenthood and urge a no vote on House Bill 294.


I would have preferred to deliver this speech to my colleagues on the floor of the House and to the people of Ohio who deserve to have their voices represented in the chamber. I have been elected to this body three times by my constituents and I have as much right as any elected member to speak on their behalf.


Another reason for my protest is to register my extreme frustration, sadness, and anger over the way that bills like this and the accompanying incendiary rhetoric against Planned Parenthood puts ordinary Americans in harm’s way. Since the vote on Sub. H.B. 294, a man entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado and shot 12 people, killing three and wounding nine. Among the dead are a police officer, a woman who was supporting a friend, and an Iraq war veteran. All three were parents of young children. The demonizing of Planned Parenthood creates a culture of hate and fear. It creates a world where women and men are terrorized for accessing healthcare. I reiterate my protest against the decision to cut off debate and pass Sub. H.B. 294 as it is our duty to lead responsibly and with the safety of all Ohioans in mind.


State Representative Kathleen Clyde

 
 
 
  
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