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Abortion providers sue state to block heartbeat bill implementation: Capitol Letter

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 6/30/2022 Seth A. Richardson,
The Ohio Statehouse on Capitol Square in downtown Columbus. The capitol houses the Ohio General Assembly, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. © David Petkiewicz The Ohio Statehouse on Capitol Square in downtown Columbus. The capitol houses the Ohio General Assembly, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Rotunda Rumblings

May it please the court: Abortion providers asked the Ohio Supreme Court to order the state not to enforce the six-week, “heartbeat” abortion ban, saying it violates parts of the Ohio Constitution. They also request the court deem the 2019 law as unconstitutional, Laura Hancock reports.

With a Whaley win: Nan Whaley, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, announced in a virtual press conference Wednesday afternoon that her first focus in office will be to lead an effort to enshrine abortion rights in the Ohio Constitution. Whaley said that Gov. Mike DeWine and the GOP legislature have an “extreme, anti-women agenda,” Hancock reports.

Moot: The Ohio Supreme Court declined to hold members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission in contempt for violating a court order to implement constitutional legislative districts, Seth Richardson reports. Following a federal three-judge panel’s decision to implement one of the unconstitutional maps, the court decided the point was moot.

Sentenced: A Columbus man who threatened to blow up a reproductive health care clinic was sentenced in federal court on Wednesday to serve a year and a day in prison and three years of supervised release for making interstate threats, as well as a shorter concurrent sentence for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, Sabrina Eaton writes. In addition to threatening to bomb the clinic on April 11, 2021, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez Brime, 26, also threatened to kill a patient whom he believed was seeking an abortion at the facility, the Justice Department says.

Big boss: Politico’s Megan Messerly included Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, a Lima Republican, in her list of state lawmakers who are reshaping abortion access in the country. Huffman told Messerly that Republicans may seek to ban all abortion when they return to session in the fall.

Making preparations: With Ohio already banning most abortion access — and Republicans likely to restrict it even further — one state in the Midwest will be a kind of oasis for those seeking procedures: Illinois. But, as the New York Times’ Allison McCann writes, providers in the state who had prepared for the decision were overwhelmed by patients’ responses to the court’s decision.

Decriminalization: Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said the city would look for ways to decriminalize abortion following Roe’s reversal, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Victoria Moorwood reports. However, any plan could run up against Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, a Republican who said he will enforce state law.

Not quite: The Republican Governors Association put out a video featuring several GOP incumbents, including Mike DeWine, talking about what they described as successes of their administrations. During DeWine’s brief appearance, he discussed tax cuts in the state of Ohio as an example of good policy. What he didn’t mention is that neither of his proposed budgets actually included those tax cuts, which were added in by the legislature, or that his first major initiative upon taking office was to increase the gas tax — a fact that didn’t make the video which knocked Democrats for gas prices.

Lucasville: Keith LaMar, the man accused of orchestrating the Lucasville Prison Riot in 1993, is seeking a new trial in a bid to overturn his death sentence and possibly be released from prison, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Patricia Gallagher Newberry reports. LaMar has maintained his innocence in terms of the riot, in which he was accused of running a “death squad” that killed five prisoners thought to be informants, saying the state withheld evidence to ensure his conviction.

Lobbying Lineup

Five things we learned from the May 16 financial disclosure form of state Rep. Terrence Upchurch, a Cleveland Democrat.

1. Upchurch’s lone source of income was his legislative salary of $73,640.48.

2. Upchurch listed one investment, a retirement fund through the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

3. At some point in 2021, Upchurch owed more than $1,000 to Capital One Bank, the U.S> Department of Education, AES/NCFC, CONSERVE, Navient and Nissan auto finance.

4. The Ohio House of Representatives paid Upchurch $4,009.76 in mileage and $484 in lodging.

5. The Greater Cleveland Partnership gave Upchurch Cleveland Browns tickets worth $250 on Oct. 17, 2021 (a 37-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals).


State Rep. Rodney Creech

State Sen. Theresa Gavarone

State Rep. Lisa Sobecki

Straight From The Source

“We’ve been working for this for so long. I’m very thankful for those mothers that they will have better choices, the right choices, that they will be offered resources.”

-Lorraine Vance, a 62-year-old from North Columbus, quoted in the Columbus Dispatch about feeling “joyous” that Roe v. Wade was overturned, paving the way for Ohio to outlaw abortions. Vance was one of several anti-abortion activists the Dispatch spoke to who said they need to change the minds of pro-abortion Ohioans in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.

Capitol Letter is a daily briefing providing succinct, timely information for those who care deeply about the decisions made by state government. If you do not already subscribe, you can sign up here to get Capitol Letter in your email box each weekday for free.

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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