News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Knight Foundation


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


Planned Parenthood, heartbeat fight expected to continue in 2013
Ohio's more conservative Senate may be more receptive
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Outgoing Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus blocked some of the most controversial measures.
Courtesy of Ohio Senate
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Women’s issues, predominately those involving family planning and abortion, took center stage this year in Ohio politics. Contentious bills at the Statehouse made their way through the legislative process. But, as Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, some of the most controversial of those bills ran into trouble with the Ohio Senate.

INGLES: Women's issues

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (5:31)


Backers of the heartbeat bill, which would have banned abortions at the point a fetal heartbeat is detected, started out the year by sending Teddy Bears with beating hearts to Ohio Senators. Heartbeat Bill backer Janet Folger Porter said the sweet looking bears were given to senators to encourage them to pass the heartbeat bill that made it through the House in 2011.

A few weeks later, on Valentine’s Day, the sweet smell of red roses filled the Statehouse as Folger Porter’s group sent lawmakers flowers to, once again, urge passage of the bill. Republican Rep. Lynn Wachtman, the sponsor of the legislation, assured reporters the roses were not a gimmick.

No stunt
“I don’t think it’s a stunt. I think sending a message about roses speaks volumes about how many of us in the House and Senate care about the unborn.  I’m not sure there’s anyone you can care for more than them.”

But opponents of the legislation also were sending messages to senators, urging them to thwart the bill.  They said the climate at the Statehouse had become a war on women and dubbed male lawmakers supporting the legislation the “masters of the uterus.”

”We are no longer chattle,” insisted Democratic Senator Charleta Tavares. “We no longer belong to condescending patronizing men who want to tell us what’s best for us.  They don’t live in our bodies.”

As the battle over the heartbeat bill continued, its backers took a harsher tone -- airing TV ads in senators’ districts, urging abortion opponents to exert pressure to pass the bill.

Constitutional questions
But Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus, a main target of those messages, remained concerned about the bill’s constitutionality. 
“There are a lot of well-meaning people who are sending emails to take action on a piece of legislation where, frankly, they had no indication of what the implications are.”

Senators weren’t the only ones questioning the bill’s constitutionality.

Ohio’s largest anti-abortion group, Ohio Right to Life, did, too. And it came out against the bill. 

County Right to Life organizations started splitting off from the state group, and Ohio Right to Life made some leadership changes over the summer. By fall, after the presidential election, the group’s opposition to the heartbeat bill was silenced.

Niehaus delays
But Senate President Niehaus continued to oppose the bill, so much so that he used a maneuver to put it in committee where it couldn’t be passed by the end of the year.  And that’s when Folger Porter issued this warning that senators should try to go around Niehaus.

“If they don’t care enough to sign that discharge petition (to get it to a vote), then I don’t care enough to ever help them again.”

Niehaus, who’se leaving the Senate, wasn’t swayed.  And the bill died.

So, too, did another bill backed by abortion opponents.

Planned Parenthood defunding
GOP lawmakers were pushing to strip government money for women’s health and family planning away from Planned Parenthood.

Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonadakis insisted there were plenty of alternative agencies with no ties to abortion.

”We have over 290 facilities in the state of Ohio, approximately 160 community health centers and about 130 local departments of health where young women are going that are need based,”  he said. “And that’s where these funds should be going.  They should not be going to the nation’s largest abortion provider.”

Planned Parenthood stressed that no government funding is being used for abortions.  And the organization pointed out that abortions make up a small part of its services.  Backers of the group, like Democratic State Sen.Nina Turner, criticized opponents who wanted to do away with the organization.

“They’ve got this illusion about abortion that is the rhetoric of the ridiculous,” she said.

They'll be back
In the end, it was Senate President Niehaus who stopped the Planned Parenthood defunding bill, just as he did with the heartbeat bill.

Niehaus said the Senate got the bill too late to give it the serious consideration it deserved.

But neither bill is likely done.

The new Senate could make a big difference in women’s issues next year.  Backers of both the Planned Parenthood bill and the Heartbeat bill promise they’ll be back. And next time around, the Senate will be headed by Keith Faber, a Republican who’s considered to be more conservative than Niehaus. 

Opponents of these bills vow they’ll be back, too, and if the contentious tone of the debate this year is any indication, the fight over women’s issues in 2013 will be passionate and contentious.

 

Listener Comments:

“There are a lot of well-meaning people who are sending emails to take action on a piece of legislation where, frankly, they had no indication of what the implications are.” - perhaps these people do not get upset over aborting when a heartbeat can be heard. Apparently 20 weeks, or 8months makes no difference to some - it seems Obamacare does not address the infanticide issue, only to say abortion is covered. Why not offer the morning after pill next to the candy, so any age can be irresponsible - Obama evidently thinks this is okay, irresponsibility, sustainability, quantitative easing, green energy - let the good times roll.



Posted by: moral decay on July 17, 2013 3:07AM
Never fear it sounds like the legislators found a way to slip anti abortion language into the budget.

I still have to question why such a moral cause must use so much deception to get their way.


Posted by: Bill (Painesville) on July 14, 2013 5:07AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Three exonerated of murder convictions from 18 years ago
Thanks heavens that none of them have been condemned to death. This alons should convince the USA to join the civilized world by abolishing the death penalty. E...

Kombucha: a sweet business brewed with fermented tea
Stevia is not an artificial sweetener. It is a plant. I have one growing in my sunroom. The leaves are dried and added to teas. It's harvested commercially and...

Bringing back ballet in Cleveland
I do think Ballet in Cleveland is doing good things, but the fact that director says "When we have flourishing companies like the New York City Ballet and the A...

Report confirms some Vietnam veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange
was in nam 1969 exposed va stated lost medical records was in lawsuit from 197? till settled 0 $ 2010 ? said all nam vets will get back disability till 198? jus...

Mentorship grant program redefines "faith-based" provision
Can't anyone have values, beliefs, and morals anymore? How is it anymore unconstitutional for a school partner with a "faith-based" organization than any other ...

Exploradio: The challenge of finding a healthy balance with technology
Thank you, Jeff, for another well done Exploradio. I always learn something interesting about what is happening in NE Ohio.

Northeast Ohio's transgender community rallies around restroom issue
A good first step would be for Cleveland to require restaurants to have a public restroom. Cleveland is the only city I've ever been in where restaurants somet...

Vapor shops say tobacco tax hikes could hit them hard
Maybe you should be DOING a study, since every time you've tried to villianize them all that's happened was the opposite. I'm not a fan of alcohol that's flavor...

New law gives access to birth records to Ohio adoptees
Can siblings also look for their missing brother or sister? And how do we go about it?

Ida McKinley's tiara comes home, with the help of "Pawn Stars"
I donated to the fund to keep the tiara at the museum where I believe it belongs. I took my 16 year old granddaughter to the showing I dont think it will be som...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University