These companies funded co-sponsors of the Ohio abortion ban proposal


A number of healthcare companies and large corporations have contributed to the campaign to two dozen lawmakers in the state of Ohio who are … co-sponsor new legislation ban abortion in the state.

A new report from Ultraviolet, a national gender justice organization, has identified 38 companies that donated more than $ 132,000 last year to Ohio lawmakers who support the anti-abortion bill introduced last week. That list includes healthcare companies such as Pfizer, Anthem, Molina Healthcare, and Merck. Other donors include the telecommunications company Charter Communications, Dominion Energy and General Motors. UltraViolet got much of its report through OpenSecrets, a nonprofit that tracks political spending.

“Where you decide to spend your political dollar – in this case literal dollars – is a huge barometer of your values ​​and who or what you are willing to sacrifice,” said Sonja Spoo, director of reproductive rights campaigns at UltraViolet. “Corporations directly finance the erosion of our rights with their political dollars.”

Ohio HB 480 it is almost identical to the extreme anti-abortion law that has come into effect in Texas in the month of September. Texas law prohibits abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy and empowers private citizens to enforce it by offering a $ 10,000 bounty to anyone who successfully sues someone who “favors or favors” a person seeking an abortion . But the Ohio bill goes even further by banning abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

The sponsors of the bill titled it “2363 Act” for the “two thousand three hundred and sixty-three children lost every day to abortion in the United States”, the proposed law States.

While the Republican state Reps. Jena Powell and Thomas Hall, the bill’s main sponsors, received little of the corporate funding identified by UltraViolet, the 23 co-sponsors received $ 132,213 in 2020.

Charter Communications gave their most, at $ 18,500, to co-sponsors of the Ohio abortion bill. American Electric Power gave $ 11,000, Molina Healthcare gave $ 10,000, Dominion Energy gave $ 9,500, and General Motors gave $ 8,550.

Healthcare companies that have backed the bill’s co-sponsors include Merck at $ 8,000, Anthem at $ 5,000, and Pfizer at $ 4,500.

Consumer companies, including AT&T and UPS, have also donated small amounts of money to lawmakers who are co-sponsoring the Ohio abortion ban.

While the numbers may seem small in the context of federal bidding, that funding is substantial for state candidates.

“A $ 5,000 nationwide donation is pennies. … But at the state level, campaigns are won or lost by the person who can put up the most construction site signs, “Spoo said.” So that’s a huge amount of money and that dollar extends a lot of more”.

In September, UltraViolet sounded the alarm about big supporters of the abortion ban in Texas by calling out loud AT&T for donating over $ 290,000 to sponsor and co-sponsor of extreme legislation.

While all eyes have been on Texas since September, many supporters fear that not enough attention is being paid to Ohio, where the bill already has the support of the Republican-controlled state chamber majority. It is unclear whether the bill has the potential to pass in the state Senate, which is also under Republican control.

Ohio already has a number of other abortion restrictions on the books, with 30 measures passed in the last decade. they areInclude a 20-week abortion ban and a law requiring a patient to undergo and pay for an ultrasound before an abortion. More recently, the state legislature passed a bill requiring abortioners to choose between burial or cremation of the fetal tissue (although the law is embroiled in controversy).

“The struggle for access to abortion isn’t just happening in Texas or the Supreme Court, it’s happening right here in Ohio,” said Iris Harvey, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio. “Even though abortion assistance is still legal and available, our state is becoming the zero point of the anti-abortion movement and millions of Ohio residents who need this crucial assistance run the real risk of being stripped of their their constitutional rights “.

Six new anti-abortion and three anti-transgender bills are currently being drafted in the state legislature. Local ordinances banning abortion, including a $ 10,000 bounty, have been introduced in four Ohio cities as part of a campaign launched by Texas-based anti-abortion extremists. And the state legislature is about to consider a so-called trigger ban that would immediately ban all abortions in the state if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade – which could happen in the next few months after the High Court hears a case about the Mississippi 15-week ban in December.

Spoo said UltraViolet will continue to keep its feet in the fire of big companies to ensure consumers know where their money is going.

“We will continue to lobby, especially AT&T, but also other companies who think they can get away with saying they advocate equality in their PR statements and then turn around and open their stock exchanges, so to speak, to fund candidates. who are working directly to explicitly cancel equality. “


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