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Legislation & Ordinances.

Keep up to date on the latest reproductive health care issues in Ohio and find out how you can fight back. 

Current Legislation:

As legislation is introduced, you will be able to read below for the latest information on legislation in the 134th Ohio General Assembly, which stared January 2021 and will end in December 2022. 

As legislation is introduced, we will provide ways for you to take action. You can subscribe to our emails to stay updated on the status of reproductive rights across Ohio. 

Good Legislation

Legislation that PPAO supports and is working to pass. 

Senate Bill 119: Ohio Fairness Act

Introduced in March 2021, the Ohio Fairness Act would protect LGBTQ+ Ohioans from discrimination in employment, housing and accommodations. Ohio’s state laws do not currently protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

33 localities in Ohio have taken the initiative to pass local versions of these protections.However, if you live in one locality and work in another, you can lose your rights on yourdaily commute.

It was referred to the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee on March 10, 2021. 

House Bill 142: Medicaid Doula Reimbursements

In February 2021, Rep. Erica C. Crawley (D) and Rep. Thomas Brinkman Jr. (R) introduced a bill in the Ohio House that would allow Medicaid to provide reimbursement for doula services

Every pregnant person should have access to a doula, no matter their income. Doulas provide needed health education, advocacy, and physical and emotional support for pregnant people before, during, and after childbirth.

This bill received its third hearing in the Ohio House Families, Aging & Human Services Committee on October 28, 2021.

House Bill 208: Ohio Fairness Act

Introduced in March 2021, the Ohio Fairness Act would protect LGBTQ+ Ohioans from discrimination in employment, housing and accommodations. Ohio’s state laws do not currently protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

33 localities in Ohio have taken the initiative to pass local versions of these protections.However, if you live in one locality and work in another, you can lose your rights on your daily commute.

It was introduced in the Ohio House with bipartisan support by Rep. Brett Hillyer (R) and Rep. Michael Skindell (D). It was assigned to the Ohio House Commerce and Labor Committee on March 17, 2021. It has not receiving any hearings.

Bad Legislation

Legislation that PPAO does not support and is fighting to stop.

Senate Bill 16: Anti-Protest Bill

Introduced on January 26, 2021, SB 16 is an anti-democracy bill targeted to punish protesters with new and intensified charges. Senate Bill 16 drastically increases penalties for protest while also broadening what is considered punishable.

Passing this bill would allow police to not only charge more Ohioans for exercising their freedom of speech, but this law would drastically increase the consequences of the charge the peaceful protester would face. Additionally, this bill targets organizations who assist in planning or promoting a protest.    

It was passed out of the Ohio Senate on June 2, and received a first hearing in the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee on October 26, 2021.

Senate Bill 123: Anti-Abortion Trigger Ban

On March 9th, 2021, Sen. Kristina Roegner (R) and Sen. Sandra O'Brien (R) introduced a bill in the Ohio Senate to ban all abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. 

‘Trigger’ bans like these are not about protecting people – they are about taking away access and spreading misinformation. We cannot and will not accept a world where safe, legal reproductive health care depends on where you live.

This bill was referred to the Ohio Senate Health Committee on March 10, 2021.

It received a second hearing on Wednesday, October 27, 2021. You can view the recap here. 

Senate Bill 132: Trans Athlete Ban

In March 2021, Sen. Kristina Roegner (R) introduced a bill in the Ohio Senate that would ban transgender young people from participating in school sports (k-12). This bill's ultimate goal is to invalidate, ignore, and dehumanize the reality of transgender and gender non-binary identities. 

No matter where we are from, what we look like, or who we voted for, Ohioans want our kids to grow up instilled with the important life lessons sports teaches—leadership, confidence, self-respect, and what it means to be part of a team. 

Trans kids who grow up in Ohio deserve the same experiences, opportunities, and respect that other kids have. Every Ohioan benefits when we all have the ability and resources to thrive.  

This legislation was assigned to the Ohio Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee on March 17, 2021. It has not received any hearings.

Senate Bill 157: Medical Interference Act

In April 2021, Senators Terry Johnson (R) and Stephen A. Huffman (R) introduced a bill in the Ohio Senate that would create another opportunity to push a false and inflammatory narrative around reproductive health care in the state. Anti-abortion politicians use "born alive" bills as messaging opportunities to push their inflammatory rhetoric. They use these types of symbolic policies to create a platform to talk about abortion late in pregnancy and "infanticide."

Bills like these perpetuate myths about abortion, the people who get abortions, and the doctors who care for them. The people behind this bill have one goal in mind — to ban abortion.

This legislation passed out of the Ohio Senate (25-6) and was assigned to the Ohio House Families, Aging & Human Services Committee on November 2, 2021. You can view the recap here.

It received its second hearing in the Ohio House Families, Aging, and Human Services Committee on December 2, 2021. You can view the recap here.

Senate Bill 216

Introduced in August 2021 by Sen. Terry Johnson (R), Senate Bill 216 is part of a startling trend aimed at using pregnancy as an excuse to surveil and criminalize people. 

This bill would subject parents and pregnant people to severe penalties—including potentially losing custody—if their child is deemed to be a “drug-exposed infant.” Extreme policies like this are the wrong approach to support families—they are bad for parents and children. 

This legislation was assigned to the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee and received its second hearing on November 9, 2021. 

House Bill 61: Trans Athlete Ban

In February 2021, Rep. Jena Powell (R) and Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus (R) introduced a bill in the Ohio House that would ban transgender young people from participating in school sports (k-12). This bill's ultimate goal is to invalidate, ignore, and dehumanize the reality of transgender and gender non-binary identities. 

The same Ohio Republicans who continue to fail to give Ohioans pandemic relief are instead focusing on banning transgender kids from school sports. Trans kids who grow up in Ohio deserve the same experiences, opportunities, and respect that other kids have. Every Ohioan benefits when we all have the ability and resources to thrive. 

This bill received its second hearing in the Ohio House Primary & Secondary Education Committee on June 24, 2021.

House Bill 294: Anti-Voting 

In May 2021, Rep. Bill Seitz (R) and Rep. Sharon A. Ray (R) introduced a bill in the Ohio House that would make it harder for Ohioans to vote.

If passed, it would cut down early voting times, severely limit ballot drop boxes, stiffen voter ID requirements, limit access to mail-in ballots, and force most Ohioans to pay for postage on mail-in ballots and ballot request forms. While this legislation would improve voter registration and allow voters to request their mail-in ballot online, it is one step forward but three steps back. We cannot support any legislation that will make it more difficult to vote. 

This legislation had its second hearing in the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee on June 17, 2021.

House Bill 378: Medical Misinformation Act

On July 15, 2021, Rep. J. Kyle Koehler (R) and Rep. Sarah Fowler Arthur (R) introduced a bill in the Ohio House that would force health care providers to lie to their patients.

House Bill 378, if passed, would force trusted health care providers to spread more misinformation about abortion care, claiming that you can interrupt the medication abortion process. A medication abortion is a safe and effective way of ending a pregnancy. It is a combination of two medications that are safer than Tylenol.

This legislation was assigned to the Ohio House Health Committee on September 16, 2021.

House Bill 454: Health Care Ban for Trans Minors

On October 19, 2021, Rep. Gary Click (R) and Rep. Diane Grendell (R) introduced a bill in the Ohio House that would ban gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary youth ─ regardless of parental consent, wishes of the patient, diagnosis, or previous care-plan.

House Bill 454, if passed, would directly attack transgender children who, like any other children, have the best chance to thrive when they are supported and can get the health care they need. 

This legislation was assigned to the Families, Aging, and Human Services on October 26, 2021.

House Bill 480: Total Ban on Abortion

On November 2, 2021, Rep. Jena Powell (R) and Rep. Thomas Hall (R) introduced a bill in the Ohio House that would make abortion at any stage of pregnancy illegal in Ohio and would extend all protections under Ohio law for “persons” to fertilized eggs starting at conception.

House Bill 454, if passed, could restrict access to a wide range of reproductive health care—not just abortion, but in-vitro fertilization and contraception—and it could be used to criminalize patients who experience miscarriage.

This legislation has not been assigned to a committee yet, nor has it received any hearings. 

Ordinances

We are working hard to defeat these dangerous ordinances, but we need your help. 

Local Anti-Abortion Ordinances:

Over the last few months, we have seen extreme anti-abortion ordinances emerge across Ohio. Each ordinance is unconstitutional and an overstep of local authority because it directly conflicts with Ohio law, which permits abortion up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.

These ordinances are part of a campaign started by Texas-based anti-abortion extremists who are ignoring decades of Supreme Court precedent in an effort to put abortion access out of reach for people who need it most.

Below is an overview of each ordinance, the impact it will have, and what you can do to take action.

Lebanon, Ohio:

In May ─ Lebanon, OH became the first city in Ohio to pass an ordinance outlawing abortion within city limits with a unanimous vote of 6-0 ─ after one member quit in protest.

This ordinance goes even further than totally banning abortion—it criminalizes helping or supporting someone seeking abortion care. This means that friends or family members who drive someone to a clinic, or who help pay for abortion services, could be subject to criminal and civil penalties.  This hostile ordinance impacts providers, abortion funds, and community members no matter where the abortion takes place.   

Before the passing of this ordinance, there were zero abortion providers in Lebanon, with no plans of a health center being built within city limits.

As a result of passing this ordinance, Lebanon businesses have suffered financially from boycotts and a decline in tourism. Shortly after, Mayor Amy Brewer announced she would not be seeking re-election after 32 years in office.

Mason, Ohio:

On October 25th, after many months of public pushback, Mason City Council voted 4-3 to pass their anti-abortion ordinance. They attempted to pass it with an emergency clause, which would’ve put it immediately in effect but did not have the votes to do so.

This ordinance would implement a total ban on abortion at any stage of pregnancy without any exceptions for survivors of rape or incest. The mode of enforcement for this ordinance has shifted from civil liability through private right to action, to criminal prosecution.

IMAGINE: If you help your friend access an abortion, you could be subject to 12 months' imprisonment and a fine of $2,500. Additionally, the ordinance declares medication abortion pills to be “contraband” and encourages residents to regard abortion providers as “criminals and felons.”

The ordinance went into effect on November 24, 2021.

London, Ohio:

Sponsored by Councilmember Anthony Smith ─ London, OH was discussing their proposed ordinance. If passed, it would've implemented a total ban on abortion at any stage of pregnancy. Additionally, it would forbid the people of London from offering help or support to their loved ones.

The ordinance FAILED (6-1) on November 18, 2021 with Councilmember Anthony Smith being the only person to vote yes. 

Celina, Ohio:

Celina City Council had introduced an ordinance more extreme than any other city, including a $10,000 bounty like Texas's SB 8. If this ordinance had been passed, it would've been the first city in Ohio to pass legislation that includes the creation of a private right to action. It would've allowed anyone to bring a lawsuit against another person suspected of providing abortion or aiding a patient seeking an abortion.

The ordinance FAILED (4-3) on November 22, 2021.