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Rep. Robinson Requests Gov. DeWine Veto Extreme Legislation

Says anti-protest, women's telehealth choice restrictions, and Shoot First legislation is a disservice to Ohioans
December 23, 2020
Phillip M. Robinson, Jr. News

COLUMBUS— State Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon) today sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine asking him to not sign into law and veto Senate Bill (SB) 33, which broadens the definition and increases penalties for potential damages at protests of utilities and energy infrastructure; SB 175, which was amended to include dangerous “Stand Your Ground” provisions; and SB 260, which restricts women’s medical choices for telehealth abortion medication.

“Signing these three acts into law would be a disservice to Ohioans, especially with some passed without proper debate in committee and on the House floor. And most importantly, all will have consequences that will hurt the lives of Ohioans if enacted,” said Rep. Robinson.

Rep. Robinson asked for these bills to be vetoed for the following reasons:

SB 33 is an attack on 1st Amendment rights to protest due to the vague, far reaching, and broad language of the bill.

  • Both individual Ohioans and advocacy groups could be unfairly punished and bankrupted in draconian fines, legal fees, and felony jail time for something as mundane as posting flyers on telephone poles.
  • This attempts to solve a problem that does not exist in Ohio.
  • The underlining goal of this bill is to aid fossil fuel and energy companies in suppressing concerns and protest against air, land, and water pollution and health issues caused by these companies.

SB 175 was amended to eliminate any “duty to retreat” before using force in self-defense, creating an infamous and dangerous “stand your ground” provision, which will lead to a “kill at will” and “shoot first” law if enacted. This goes too far.

  • By permitting the use of deadly force by individuals who believe their lives are endangered in any space, you are creating a loophole in law for people to escape prosecution for manslaughter and murder.
  • If passed, it would take away judge’s or jury’s power to evaluate self-defense cases.
  • This measure will not increase public safety.
  • The Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, and other members of law enforcement and prosecution oppose this act.
  • Similar laws in other states have disproportionately hurt people of color by encouraging violence, with research showing that a White shooters who kill Black victims are 350% more likely to be found justified than Black shooters who kill White victims.

SB 260 is an assault on women’s medical rights and health choices by prohibiting abortion medication during telehealth.

  • By punishing doctors with charges of a fourth-degree and eventually third-degree felony for supporting their patients’ choices and rights can only lead to negative health outcomes for women.
  • Without addressing infant and maternal mortality rates in Ohio, especially among the poor and/or diverse communities of colors, this act could endanger many lives.

Editor’s note: a PDF copy of the letter sent to Gov. DeWine is attached
Rep. Robinson Requests Gov. DeWine Veto Extreme Legislation