COLUMBUS – Today, State Reps. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) and Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) condemned the first hearing of House Bill (HB) 598, extreme Republican legislation to completely ban access to abortion in Ohio without exception, in the House Government Oversight Committee. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, this “trigger” ban would go into effect immediately, making Ohio one of the most hostile states towards abortion in the country.
“Déjà vu. Yet again, Republicans are considering another extreme bill out of touch with reality that caters to the extreme fringes of their base. Reproductive healthcare is health care, period. Government should not intrude and interfere with any woman’s personal healthcare decisions made between themselves and their doctor,” said Rep. Sobecki, chair of the Ohio Democratic Women’s Legislative Caucus (ODWLC).
“Ohioans deserve access to the full range of reproductive health care options without fear of judgement and without having to leave their communities,” said Rep. Galonski, member of the Government Oversight Committee and vice-chair of the ODWLC. “I am especially alarmed by the bill’s lack of concern for protecting the life of the mother. This is a dangerous piece of legislation that interferes with important medical decisions that should be left to patients and their doctors, not partisan politicians in Columbus.”
HB 598 would establish several criminal offenses, including:
· Performing an abortion under HB 598 would be a 4th degree felony;
· Abortion manslaughter would be a 1st degree felony;
· Advertising abortion services would result in a 1st degree misdemeanor.
This legislation does not include any exceptions for rape, incest or protecting the health of the mother.
HB 598 now awaits further hearings in the House Government Oversight Committee.