The Republican led Ohio Legislature ended 2018 by passing a controversial bill that was vetoed by former Gov. John Kasich

The bill would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The “heartbeat” bill is expected to be reintroduced in 2019 along with many other failed or incomplete legislation concerning reproductive and feminine healthcare. 

The inauguration of current Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday signaled to Republicans that they can expect to have a reliable ally in the governor’s mansion that will sign bills such as the “heartbeat” bill into law.

Here is a list of potential bills the Ohio State House and Senate could reintroduce in 2019:

Heartbeat bill

House Bill 493, which would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, passed the Ohio House and Senate late in the year in 2018 but was vetoed by Kasich. There was an attempt to override Kasich’s veto, but the House failed to reach a three-fifths majority needed.

The “heartbeat” bill was a copy of similar bills introduced over the past decade including the 2016 “heartbeat” bill” which was also vetoed by Kasich.

DeWine said he would sign the abortion ban bill that was vetoed, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

With the current governor’s support and a legislature that has a strong Republican majority, Ohio could easily become the latest state legislature to pass such a law.

Pink tax

On December 5, 2018, the Ohio House passed House Bill 545 which would get rid of sales tax on feminine hygiene products like tampons. The bill never came to a vote in the Senate but it could make a reappearance in 2019.

According to an impact statement from the Ohio legislature, women in Ohio will spend 78.6 million dollars on products like tampons, panty liners, menstrual cups, sanitary napkins and similar products. Up to 4.4 million dollars in revenue would be lost by exempting feminine hygiene products.

The bill passed the House 84-1; state Rep. Tom Brinkman, a Cincinnati-area Republican, was the lone opponent. If reintroduced in 2019, the bill could receive the same amount of support.

Stillbirth tax credit

In 2018 House Bill 507 was introduced by Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) in February but it stalled in committee meetings. It would grant a $2,000 refundable tax credit to parents of stillborn children.

A stillbirth is defined as a the birth of an infant that has died in the womb after having survived at least the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. Any earlier instances are defined as abortion or miscarriage.

Five other states have passed legislation providing a stillbirth tax deduction or credit for stillbirth families. According to the Star Legacy Foundation, financial relief would be provided to the stillbirth parents regarding the expenses of funerals, burial, testing and therapy.

Access to reproductive healthcare

House Bill 234 was a bill introduced in 2017 that would have protected access to reproductive healthcare. It had one committee meeting but did not move forward.

The bill also would have created protections for health care facility employees who are harassed or intimidated. 

The primary sponsors and cosponsors for the bill were all Democrats. The bill won’t make it far in the legislature if it fails to find bipartisan support.

@ShillcockGeorge

gs261815@ohio.edu

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