State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and State Rep. Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick) announced today the introduction of legislation aimed at preventing unintended pregnancies and abortions through increased education and access to resources. The Ohio Prevention First Act, House Bill 132, would prevent unintended pregnancies by offering comprehensive, abstinence-inclusive sex education for teens; increasing access to birth control, including emergency contraception for rape survivors; and creating a state Teen Pregnancy Prevention Task.
“Half of all unintended pregnancies end in abortion. If the legislature wants to be serious about preventing abortion, it would devote more resources to providing comprehensive sex-ed and access to contraception-- it is as simple as that,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan.
Introduced on the same day that a House committee voted to report the unconstitutional 6-week abortion ban, The Ohio Prevention First Act would require the Ohio Department of Health to post accurate information about emergency contraception on its website for the benefit of the general public.
According to the federal Department of Health and Human Services Ohio currently has the 26th highest teen pregnancy rate in the United States, with over 25,000 girls aged 15-19 becoming pregnant in 2008. Over twenty percent of those teenage pregnancies resulted in abortion.
The Ohio House today will vote on House Bill 69, which would ban abortions at about six weeks, well before most women generally recognize they are pregnant. To watch the floor debate live, go to www.ohiochannel.org at 1:30 p.m.