Stay engaged, involved, and up-to-date: 09/18/17 Week in Review

In the weekly updates from the Women’s Public Policy Network, we highlight some of the work we have been up to this week, share updates on bills affecting women that are moving at the Statehouse, and provide calls to action on bills pending in the Legislature. Sign up for our email list to receive these updates in your inbox every week!

The Graham-Cassidy bill is the latest ACA repeal bill being pushed by Senate Republican leaders for a vote before the September 30th procedural deadline, when only a simple majority of 50 votes is needed to pass legislation.
The proposal is nothing more than an even more dangerous and harmful version of previously rejected bills to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and it would be particularly devastating to women and their families. Read our post for more information about how women would be impacted by the bill.
Public health policy expert, Allison Russo, wrote a guest blog for us this week detailing the ways that the attacks on health care – at both the federal and state level – would hit Ohio’s rural women and their families the hardest.
She writes, “But the biggest losers under the Graham-Cassidy plan may be Ohio’s rural women and families, and ongoing efforts to reduce Medicaid funding and halt expansion are an assault on their health, well-being, and economic stability.” Read more.
A Dayton Daily News investigation brought to light the fact that thousands of girls 17 years and younger – some even as young as 14 – were married in Ohio between 2000 and 2015.
Innovation Ohio Policy Analyst and the manager of the Women’s Public Policy Network, Erin Ryan, penned a letter to the editor that was published in The Columbus Dispatch highlighting that Ohio’s marriage laws are just one of many antiquated laws that disadvantage – and limit the potential of – women and girls. Read the full letter here.


Unaccompanied in Pain: Gaps in Ohio Law Hurt Teen Moms
WOSU Public Media, September 18, 2017

Possible vote next month in Ohio House could reinstate Medicaid expansion freeze
Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 18, 2017

The Columbus Dispatch, September 18, 2017
WVXU: All Things Considered, September 19, 2017

Ohio Supreme Court to decide on new abortion laws
Dayton Daily News, September 29, 2017

Slate, September 20, 2017
The Columbus Dispatch, September 21, 2017

Obama-era school sexual assault policy rescinded
Politico, September 22, 2017

Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial Board, September 22, 2017

Senator Rob Portman’s Columbus Office
37 W Broad St Ste 300, Columbus, Ohio 43215
Hosted by: Indivisible: Ohio District 12, Indivisible Columbus District 3, Indivisible Ohio District 15, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio Facebook Page:
“The GOP Senate’s latest iteration of Trumpcare is its worst bill yet and they may be close to the 50 votes needed. Portman has yet to weigh in and says he is still “reviewing the data.” Well, the data shows that Ohio will get billions of dollars less in Medicaid funding which means people will die. Join us to tell Portman to VOTE NO!”
Visit our Partner Events Calendar for more details on events hosted by our coalition partners across the state. 

We are tracking the progress of any state bills affecting women in the Ohio Legislature for the 132nd General Assembly. The Legislature is back in session from summer recess so things are picking up! Here’s a quick overview of some key highlights from this week and a look ahead to next week:
  • HB 214 (LaTourette, Merrin) – The Down Syndrome abortion ban, which bans a doctor from performing an abortion if they have knowledge that a woman is seeking the abortion due to a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. The House Health Committee held a second hearing for proponent testimony on Wednesday.
  • HB 327 (Schaffer, Smith, K.) – Creates tougher penalties for anyone charged with importuning or soliciting sex over the internet. The House Criminal Justice Committee held a first sponsor hearing on the bill on Tuesday.
  • SB 4 (Kunze, Oelslager) – Expands the expungement law for human trafficking survivors. Current law only allows for the expungement of records for prostitution and related charges, but does not apply to certain other offenses committed during the time that they were trafficked, such as theft or drug possession. Too often, these other charges hold back women from finding housing or employment. The bill pass unanimously out of the Senate earlier this year and had a second hearing with proponent testimony on Tuesday of this week.
  • SB 126 (Tavares) – This bill prohibits certain health care professionals from using conversion therapy when treating patients that are minors. The Senate Health, Human Services & Medicaid Committee will hear a first hearing on the bill next Tuesday.
  • SB 198 (Yuko) – This bill makes updates to Ohio’s marriage laws to set the legal age of marriage to 18 years, except in certain circumstances allowing for 16 and 17 year olds if they receive consent from the juvenile court and their parent or guardian. The bill was introduced on Wednesday, but has not been assigned to a Committee yet. We suspect the bill was likely in response to an investigation in Ohio that found that thousands of girls under 17 years old – and as young as 14 – had married in Ohio between 2000 – 2015.
We will keep tracking any new updates and will be sharing timely legislative updates on these and other women-centric legislation on Twitter using the #OHLeg hashtag. Follow us to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at the Statehouse.

Congressional Republicans are trying to push through the Cassidy-Graham bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before the September 30th procedural deadline, when only a simple majority of 50 votes is needed to pass legislation. The bill would be disastrous for Ohio, and even more devastating for women than previously reject ACA repeal bills.
Senator John McCain announced on Friday that he would not be supporting the bill, which could likely end the efforts to pass the legislation. But we must continue to put pressure on Ohio Senator Rob Portman to vote NO.
TAKE ACTION: Contact Senator Portman and urge him to publicly reject the Cassidy-Graham proposal, which dismantles critical protections for women and families. Ask him to move away from repeal and come together in a bi-partisan effort to improve health care, not destroy it.
Email Senator Portman your message using this email contact form.
Call his office using the contact information below:
Cincinnati (513) 684-3265
Cleveland (216) 522-7095
Columbus (614) 469-6774
Toledo (419) 259-3895
Washington D.C. (202 ) 224-3353
Use our Health Care Advocacy Toolkit to access more resources, find out events happening in your area, and keep up-to-date on what’s happening with the bill.