The GOP and their dated blinders are hurting Ohio

In this edition of The Middle, a discussion about why HB 565 and abortion reform is that last thing Ohio needs at the moment.

By Alex Kamczyc / Edited by Julie Reidel

Two weeks ago, GOP lawmakers who hold the majority in the Ohio House of Representatives, approved a bill known as the “Heart Beat bill,” which prevents an abortion from taking place six weeks after conception. A controversial bill that has been passed before, but was vetoed by Governor John Kasich; who has vowed to veto the bill again if it crosses his desk.

However, there’s more that women’s rights activists should be concerned about. HB 565 which seeks to completely abolish abortions in the state of Ohio and it’s currently being evaluated by the House’s Health Committee.

This bill is a blanket ban, as in the bill doesn’t give specific exemptions to cases of rape, incest or harm to the woman’s health. The bill will also work to redefine an unborn fetus as an “unborn person.” Those who participate in an abortion, woman or medical expert can be charged with attempted murder and could either be given prison time or the death penalty due to Ohio’s state laws regarding murder.

It’s ironic isn’t it? Republicans are so willing to protect those who can’t even vote for them yet that they’re willing to kill those who already can. Like they think this bill give’s them an instant ‘IOU’ by the fetus’ that are protected by the bill.

It’s so ridiculous of a law, even GOP lawmakers have said that this is mostly an attempt to challenge Roe V. Wade, here’s Republican Representative Christina Hagan the lead sponsor of HB 565 on the proposed legislation in the New York Times:

“…Hagan, the lead sponsor of the bill, said in an interview on Friday that it was crafted specifically to challenge Roe v. Wade, the 45-year-old Supreme Court decision that made abortion a constitutional right.

“We believe Ohio is best positioned to send this through the Circuit Courts and to the federal Supreme Court,” said Ms. Hagan, a Republican who campaigned on behalf of President Trump.”

Like it’s the only thing in the entire world that matters, to get abortion repealed in Ohio.

Except it isn’t.

Ohio’s standard of living has been on a steady decline. This week on Monday, GM announced it would be closing a Lordstown plant which employed 1,600 people in the area in March of 2019. This is a crushing blow to the people of the area that used that plant as a main source of revenue for decades. It will also affect the entire economy of that area because most of the local stores relied on the income that the plant provided also.

But this has been happening in Ohio way before this announcement came. In fact, GM had cut 3,000 local jobs by removing two of the three shifts gradually over the past two years. Only 600 employees were offered early retirements and other buyouts to support them after the cuts. GM also announced that they would be producing more of their new Chevy Blazer in Mexico, even after getting a bailout by taxpayers — the same day they eliminated the second shift in Lordstown.

Republicans like John Kasich and Trump have both expressed concern over the closing and have vowed to enact change in one way or the other. However, right now they’re all promises, and we know how this administration is with promises (build that wall and make Mexico pay, amirite?).

Mostly, we’re starting to see the same thing that always happens when something the GOP does gets us in deep water, blame the democrats. In an interview on Tuesday, Trump laid blame for GM moving its plant out of Ohio on Democrat Sherrod Brown, saying that Brown had failed to represent our state and didn’t “get the point across.”

Except, Brown has been trying to urge GM’s CEO Mary Barra to invest in the plant as early as April where he wrote a letter trying to get her to protect the plant as well as meeting with her on June 5th to discuss possible solutions.

What’s more is that with the 2017 tax cuts and the tariffs that Trump’s administration passed it seems that the biggest culprit to the recent announcement is Trump himself. In a recent article posted by Rolling Stone, it’s speculated that the tariffs imposed on China costed GM an upwards of $1 billion dollars.

Brown spoke with Trump on Wednesday on the matter and the president admitted to not knowing that the tax cuts he championed last year gave companies like GM incentives to leave the country with its production. This because overseas subsidiaries would be taxed half the rate applied to income made here in the states.

This seems like a pretty huge bomb to not know about in the very bill you’ve championed for so long. You would think that the President of the United States of America would read the fine print before signing.

Ohio has been screwed for a long time and while lawmakers keep pushing unconstitutional legislature like HB 565 and the Heartbeat bill so that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe V. Wade. Ohio taxpayers are suffering due to the inability of those in charge to solve the issues that are affecting us now.

It doesn’t seem that this is actually an issue to the GOP in Ohio however. They’re only focused on pushing through controversial laws even though they no longer control both the house and the senate nationally. The Trumpian republicans that now hold important offices all over America are raising the flag for outdated and often times ill-informed policies that a majority of people believe should be legal.

If they could remove these out dated blinders, they would see that the state they’re trying to make great again is dying from much more than the right to get an abortion. Their own policies are hurting us.

We don’t need abortion reform, we need the jobs we rely on to stay in Ohio.

Alex Kamczyc is an award winning journalist covering politics and culture in Cleveland. He studied at Kent State University under Connie Schultz.

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