Ohio Lawmakers Intensify War Over Social Issues

Monday, 19 Nov 2012 11:43 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Ohio Democrats are accusing Republican lawmakers of waging a "war on women" in the final two weeks of this year's legislative session, as both sides spar over bills related to abortion and women’s health.
The state’s controversial heartbeat bill, prohibiting abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, is on hold, reports the Dayton Daily News. However, this past week, Republican lawmakers endorsed a measure aimed at reducing federal funding for Planned Parenthood and introduced legislation that would criminalize sex-selective abortions.
At the same time, Republicans who control the legislature gave Democrats a "complimentary hearing" on a proposal touted as a sexual health and education measure, but then immediately served notice that it won't be moving any further for the time being.
Democratic state Sen. Nina Turner described the GOP Planned Parenthood bill as “absolutely immoral and unconscionable,” but Republicans argued that it would free up more federal money more public health facilities in the state that would be able to serve more people.
“There are Democrats who call us anti-woman — they are abhorrent, crazy people intent on killing every baby they can,” said state GOP Sen. Lynn Wachtmann said.
Meanwhile, battle lines are forming over a bill banning sex-selective abortion. Republican sponsors of the measure say other western countries have banned the practice. If it becomes law,  doctors and nurses who perform gender abortions would have to serve six months to a year in prison.
Democrats call the bill “a solution looking for a problem” and they question the Census data used to support the measure, which the sponsors say shows a decline in female births they blame on gender selective abortions.

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