Stay engaged, involved, and up-to-date: Week of 06/19/17 Update

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


Yesterday, Senate Republicans released a “discussion draft” of their healthcare bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill was drafted in secret by a group of all male Senators, so it should come as no surprise that the bill would be devastating for women.
Ohio Senator Portman has not yet stated how he plans to vote on the bill, but Republican Leadership wants a vote scheduled by the July 4th holiday. Use our Healthcare Advocacy Toolkit to help support your efforts to push back on the bill and protect healthcare!

We are tracking the progress of any state bills affecting women in the Ohio Legislature for the 132nd General Assembly. Here’s a quick overview of some key highlights from this week and a look ahead to next week:
HB 63 (Hughes) – Increases the prison term for an assault if the harm caused results in a permanent, serious disfigurement or substantial incapacity. Known as “Judy’s Law”, the bill is named after Judy Malinowski, a woman who was doused with gasoline and set on fire by her now ex-boyfriend. The bill passed unanimously in the House earlier this session, and the Senate Judiciary Committee held a second hearing on the bill this week.
HB 240 (Barnes) – Designates the month of April as “Respect Your Date Month” to raise awareness on the issue of partner violence. The bill would also require state colleges and universities to adopt a policy regarding dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and rape on campus, and to declare an emergency. The House Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee held a first hearing on the bill this week.
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 House Criminal Justice Committee had a first hearing on the bill earlier this week.
SB 7 (Bacon, Manning, G.) – Aims to strengthen protection orders for victims of domestic violence by allowing for prosecution of offenders who knowingly violate protection orders.The bill passed in the Senate in early March, and moved fairly quickly through the House over the last few months. The House approved with an 86-2 vote this week, with the only no votes coming from Representatives Hood and Vitale. 
SB 145 (Huffman, Wilson) – Bans the most common procedure for abortions in the second trimester. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a second hearing on the bill this week, and is scheduled for another hearing on Tuesday, June 27th to hear opponent testimony. 
SB 164 (LaRose) – Bans abortions based on prenatal genetic testing indicating Down Syndrome. The bill was introduced last week and will receive a first hearing in the House Health, Human Services & Medicaid Committee on Tuesday, June 27th.  
We are also 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.

A bill in the Ohio Senate (SB 145) would ban the most common procedure for second trimester abortions. This bill has already received two hearings this month, and is scheduled for yet another hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday, June 27th.
Join fellow advocates in standing against this dangerous, unconstitutional bill by attending the third hearing at 10:15AM on Tuesday in the North Hearing Room at the Ohio Statehouse. More details here.