Cleveland Right to Life is a founding member of Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio
Friday 5

Barry Sheets
Legislative Consultant
November 8, 2019

Legislative movement is happening on both good and bad bills this month. This is a time where we need your voice to help support the good and block the bad.

1. UPDATE The official co-sponsor request for members of the Ohio House to join in supporting the introduction of the Life at Conception Act has been circulated. Members have until Nov. 12 to sign on.  As of today, the following members are co-sponsors: Candice Keller (lead sponsor), Ron Hood (co-lead sponsor), Jena Powell, Niraj Antani, John Becker, Jon Cross, Nino Vitale, Tom Brinkman, Craig Riedel, and Susan Manchester.  If you don't see your state Representative's name on this list, please take a moment to call their office (or cell if you have it) and ask them to join in co-sponsoring this ultimate Pro-Life legislation!
2. The Senate acted on two pieces of Pro-Life legislation this week, passing both SB 155 (Abortion Pill Reversal) and SB 208 (Born Alive After Abortion Infant Protection) with large majorities . These bills were reported from the Senate Health, Human Services & Medicaid Committee on mainly party-line votes (with notable exception of Republican Senator Stephanie Kunze of Hilliard, who voted against SB 155 both in committee and on the Senate floor).  Two amendments, offered by the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio, were adopted into SB 155 . The first amendment ensures  the website address for the Ohio Department of Health (who is tasked with maintaining info on APR protocols and providers) is given to the woman, and the second raises the legal standard from "believes" (subjective and legally fungible) to "using reasonable medical judgment" (objective and legally actionable) for a provider to determine an emergency exists that would excuse them from penalties for not providing the APR information to a woman.  The final votes for SB 155 were 22 in favor and 10 against; votes for SB 208 were 24 in favor and nine 9 against.  Both bills move to the Ohio House for assignment to committee and hearings.
3. The push to envelop Ohio in the national Health Standards is getting stronger.  Although 19 witnesses testified last week against SB 121, the sponsors (Senators Stephanie Kunze (R) and Vernon Sykes (D)) are seeking to offer amendments to "appease" those who see these standards as opening the door for pro-abortion curriculum and instruction in the classroom. Also, in meeting with the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee Chairman Rep. Don Jones, I learned that a meeting between the sponsors of SB 121 and of House Bill 165 (the House version of the Health Standards Mandate) is being planned to "harmonize" the two versions of the initiative, likely to expedite passage once one of them (most likely SB 121) can be voted through the chamber it is now in.  ACTION Please call your legislators (both House and Senate) to oppose both of these bills . Respectfully let them know Ohio already has standards in law for Health Education and the bills are unnecessary and may open the door to pro-abortion forces having greater access to our schools.
4.  The Federal Courts strike again: On Wednesday, U.S. District Court (New York) Judge Paul Engelmayer, an Obama administration appointee, vacated a Trump Administration rule that allowed health care providers from providing medical services they object to for religious or moral reasons , saying that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had acted outside its power in issuing a "conscience rule" that protected medical professionals and health care entities from being discriminated against if they refuse to cover for or perform medical services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide on religious or moral grounds. Judge Engelmayer 147 page opinion raises his doubts that the agency has ANY ability to promulgate rules in this area. The Trump Administration and HHS are likely to appeal this ruling up to the 2 nd  Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
5. In an unsurprising move, the National Abortion Federation (the abortion provider industry trade association), announced that their new President and CEO will be Katherine Ragsdale , an outspoken Episcopal priest who is also a publicly-out lesbian. As the former leader of the (ironically) appropriately name Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights (whose "religion" is abortion, not Christianity), Ragsdale's new gig shows that the abortion providers are trying desperately (and unsuccessfully) to add a veneer of respectability to their immoral practices. Or is it more likely that they are trying to more deeply tie their practices to the homosexual movement?
Each installment of the Friday Five will bring thumbnail profiles of
key policymakers and committees. 
United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas -President George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and he took his seat October 23, 1991. Justice Thomas has distinguished himself as one of the Court's most consistent Constitutional originalists and conservative jurist. Based on his unwavering commitment to his originalist jurisprudence, Thomas has demonstrated his willingness to take unpopular positions over and over again. As he once said, "I just think we should interpret the Constitution as it's drafted, not as we would have drafted it." Thomas' background includes attending Conception Seminary from 1967-1968 and receiving an A.B., Cum Laude, from College of the Holy Cross in 1971 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1974. He was admitted to law practice in Missouri in 1974 and served as an Assistant Attorney General of Missouri, 1974-1977; an attorney with the Monsanto Company, 1977-1979; and Legislative Assistant to Senator John Danforth, 1979-1981. From 1981-1982 he served as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education and as Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1982-1990. From 1990-1991, Thomas served as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit before being nominated to the nation's highest court.
U.S. Congress Bill Johnson (6th District)  -represents one of the geographically longest districts in Ohio, stretching from Portsmouth in far southern Ohio to Salem near Youngstown. The district stretches eastward along the Ohio River and northward along the border with West Virginia and Pennsylvania and includes Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Noble, and Washington Counties (portions of Athens, Mahoning, Muskingum, Scioto and Tuscarawas Counties also are part of the 6 th  District). He has been in office since winning election in 2010. Johnson serves on the House Committee on the Budget; the House Committee on Energy and Commerce; the Sub-Committees of Communication & Technology, Energy, and Environment and Climate Change. He receives an 88% rating from Americans for Prosperity, a 65% rating from Freedom Works, a 4% rating from the ACLU, and zero percent from both the Human Rights Campaign and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Johnson has not introduced Pro-Life legislation, but regularly votes Pro-Life. 
Ohio State Board of Education District 3-Charlotte McGuire . The elected member of the State Board of Education from District 3 (Butler, Darke, Miami, Montgomery and Preble Counties) is also the Vice-President of the Board. McGuire, the first college graduate in her family, earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Central State University and studied Public Administration at the University of Dayton. Formerly, she served as Community Affairs Director for the City of Dayton; President and CEO of the Senior Citizen Center of Greater Dayton, Planning Service Area 2; President and CEO of Project IMPACT Dayton and Project Director of Reclaiming Futures, Montgomery County Juvenile Court. She and her husband, Pastor Arthur McGuire, Sr., launched the Excel Afterschool Program that engages parents to help elementary students improve school achievement and attendance. The McGuire's are affiliated with the Miami Valley Women's Center (a pregnancy resource center), Dayton Right to Life and the National Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Together, they founded and lead Joshua Christian Ministries, a nondenominational church. McGuire was first elected to the State Board of Education in 2018 and is serving her first term on the Board. She will be eligible for re-election in 2022.
Ohio House Commerce & Labor Committee -the standing committee with jurisdiction over many business and employment issues is a very busy one. Currently, the committee has seen 28 bills assigned for consideration, on topics from the GM Lordstown plant closure to setting the budget for the state Industrial Commission. The committee is chaired by Rep. Gayle Manning of Lorain County and has nine Republican members and six Democrat members. The committee meets on Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m.
Ohio Senate Finance Health & Medicaid Sub-Committee -One of the standing (permanent) subcommittees of Finance, the Health & Medicaid subcommittee deals with those budgetary provisions in the areas of healthcare, including costs, quality, access, and other relevant topics. Senator Bob Hackett of Clark County chairs the subcommittee, which is comprised of six Republicans and two  Democrats. They meet when called upon by the full Senate Finance Committee assigning bills or topic areas to the subcommittee. The subcommittee has not convened since finishing the work on Ohio's biennial budget in May.


      The Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio is an association of metropolitan, county and local pro-life organizations. RTLACO focuses on developing and strengthening local grass roots pro-life leadership, true representative governing for the statewide organization, a commitment to a consistent and holistic pro-life standard to evaluate both policies and elected officials/candidates, and collaborative engagement to develop priorities for action.

Cleveland Right to Life Mission


WE believe that all human beings are made in the image of the Creator and must be respected and protected from the moment of conception until natural death. We know to be true that human rights begin when human life begins, as affirmed in the Declaration of Independence.  So as to foster a culture of life we promote and defend the right to life of all innocent human beings and reject such practices as abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, and same-sex marriage that are contrary to "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God".  We represent pro-life citizens from over 8 counties in the region, making our organization one of the largest pro-life organizations in the State of Ohio. We focus our efforts first and foremost at the local level to achieve local solutions and then cooperate with the state and national pro-life efforts as directed and needed.


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