The Ohio House Insurance Committee heard sponsor testimony Tuesday on House Bill 351, legislation to limit insurance coverage options for women seeking reproductive health care. State Rep. and Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) joined Democratic lawmakers in chiding the GOP for their prioritization of policies that would limit Ohio’s women access to safe and affordable health care options, including birth control. 


“We should focus our attention on strategies to improve Ohio’s lackluster job creation rate and increasing services to underserved communities, but the GOP would rather devote time to hearing egregious bills that would jeopardize women’s ability to make their own personal health decisions and send us back to the 1950s,” said Rep. Antonio. “This obsession with limiting women’s equality through extreme, restrictive measures further showcases the Republicans’ misplaced priorities and mentality that is out-of-touch with Ohio families.”


HB 351, introduced by Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township), would prohibit public and private insurance plans and Medicaid from covering IUDs, birth control pills, emergency contraception and abortion care services; redefine abortion to include commonly-used forms of birth control; and prohibit public hospitals from performing abortions in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life, amongst other provisions.

 
 
 
  
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Ohio AG Needs To Open Independent Harassment Investigation Of Bill Seitz, Lawmakers Say

 

State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) today asked* Ohio Attorney General (AG) Mike DeWine to hire an objective third party to reopen the harassment investigation of Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati). The letter comes after it was reported that Taft Stettinius & Hollister, the law firm which conducted the investigation, donated to Seitz’ campaign and had employed Seitz for 36 years. The investigation concluded that the allegations of inappropriate conduct made against Seitz by a female House employee did not constitute sexual harassment according to the House’s anti-harassment policy and said the complaint may have been politically motivated. The basis of the findings, however, directly conflict with the AG’s anti-sexual harassment training given to state lawmakers and staff prior to the event.



 
 

Ohio Republican Majority Writes Discrimination Into Law

 

State Reps. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today expressed disappointment with the passage of House Bill (HB) 36, which writes discrimination into Ohio law by allowing ministers not to solemnize marriages that are contrary to their personal beliefs.



 
 

Antonio, Burke Ask Kasich To Keep Local Behavioral Health Youth Program Running

 

State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and state Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville) today wrote a letter* to Gov. John Kasich asking him to reconsider his administration’s move to shutter Cuyahoga County’s local Positive Education Program (PEP) Connections, a behavioral health program that serves some 500 high-risk youth each day.



 
 

Antonio Responds To Latest Ohio Opioid Crisis Report

 

The lead Democrat on the Ohio House’s Health Committee, Democratic Whip and state Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), today responded to the latest dire report on Ohio’s statewide opioid overdose and addiction emergency.

The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences released the report “Taking Measure of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis” Tuesday, highlighting the grim realities many in the state are experiencing, but also making a case for greater treatment access and expanded educational and economic opportunities for Ohioans.

“This report confirms that treatment is necessary to stem the tide of this opioid crisis, and clearly we do not have enough treatment options currently available,” said Antonio. “We can do better. We must do better. Taxpayers deserve better economic opportunities, a strong and affordable educational foundation, and greater access to healthcare services – all things that we know will prevent opioid addiction and abuse.”

The report points to low education levels and limited job opportunities as central underlying causes of opioid abuse.