Anti-abortion protesters marched in Columbus this week, and Ohio’s Republican governor put forward a slew of ideas to make the state a better place to have babies.
We break down what that means in this week’s episode of Ohio Politics Explained. USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau’s podcast for state political news in under 15 minutes. This week, host Anna Staber is joined by reporter Haley Beamer.
1) oh baby
Gov. Mike DeWine has said he wants Ohio to be “the best place in the nation to have a baby and raise a family.”
It also calls on state legislators to eliminate the diaper sales tax, raise income limits for pregnant women on Medicaid, and extend paid maternity leave for state employees from six to 12 weeks.
A spokesperson for the governor said DeWine would pitch these ideas even if Ohio Republicans weren’t planning to ban abortion outright, but Democrats didn’t take it. .
House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, said Democrats have been failing to introduce legislation for years to accomplish most of what the governor has just proposed.
2) Battle of Toledo
Which party will dominate the U.S. House of Representatives for the next two years will depend on who wins Ohio’s 9th congressional district. Longtime Democrat Rep. Mercy Kapter is facing political newcomer Republican J.R. Majewski.
Majewski has the backing of former President Donald Trump, and the newly elected constituency is split nearly 50/50 between registered Republicans and Democrats.
Kyle Condick, editor-in-chief of Sabbath’s Crystal Ball, said on paper Republicans should win the seat. “But it’s an unusual situation.”
Majewski claimed to be a veteran in Afghanistan, but military records obtained by the AP show he was deployed to Qatar and helped load planes. Records also reveal that he was demoted after driving under the influence while stationed at an air force base in Japan.
3) March for Life
Ohioans opposed to abortion gathered in the state capitol this week to demand a law that says life begins at conception.
“Life does not begin when a heartbeat is detected. Life begins at conception,” said R-Arcanum Rep. Jenna Powell. “The shackles no longer hold us back as legislators. We can and must be the voices of the unborn children here in Ohio.”
The Republican-controlled Congress could pass a total abortion ban after the November election, but it remains to be seen if it will go as far as Powell wants. Concerns have been raised on both sides of the aisle about how such a bill would affect contraception and IVF procedures.
4) Voter registration ends October 11th
If you would like to vote in the November midterm elections, the registration deadline is October 11th.
Ohioans can use the Secretary of State’s online voter registration system to register and update their information (if they move). Alternatively, voters can visit their local county board of elections.
Listen to “Ohio Politics Explained” on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts, and TuneIn Radio. This episode is also available by clicking the link in this article.
USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau serves The Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal, and 18 affiliated news organizations in Ohio.