Pfizer was one of the 38 companies that contributed to Ohio legislators to support a state-wide ban on abortion.
Source: Associated Press

Two dozen Ohio state legislators have received campaign donations from a number of major corporations and health care providers. co-sponsoring new legislationProhibit abortion within the state

New report by UltraVioletThe national feminist organization ‘Gender Justice Network’ identified 38 businesses that donated more than $132,000 to Ohio lawmakers last year. This list also includes companies like Merck, Anthem and Molina Healthcare. Dominion Energy, Charter Communications, and General Motors also contributed. UltraViolet received a large portion of its report from the Internet. OpenSecretsA nonprofit organization which 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’re willing to sacrifice,” said Sonja Spoo, director of reproductive rights campaigns at UltraViolet. “Corporations are directly funding the erosion of our rights with their political dollars.”

Ohio’s H.B. 480It is almost identical to the anti-abortion extreme law which went into effect in TexasIn September The Texas law bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy and deputizes private citizens to enforce it by offering a $10,000 bounty to anyone who successfully sues someone “aiding or abetting” a person seeking an abortion. But Ohio’s bill goes even further, prohibiting abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

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

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

Charter Communications donated $18,500 to the Ohio anti-abortion legislation co-sponsors. American Electric Power donated $11,000; Molina Healthcare contributed $10,000; Dominion Energy provided $9,500 and General Motors $8,550.

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

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

While it may appear small when compared to the federal race, the state funding is significant for candidates.

“A $5,000 donation at the national level is pennies. It is pennies to make a $5,000 donation at the national level. But at the state level, campaigns are won or lost by the person who can put up the most yard signs,” Spoo said. “So that is a huge amount of money and that dollar stretches so much further.”

UltraViolet raised the alarm in September on the big corporations that supported the Texas abortion ban. AT&T for donating over $290,000To sponsors and co-sponsors for extreme legislation

While all eyes have been on Texas since September, many advocates are worried not enough attention is being paid to Ohio, where the proposed legislation already has majority support from the Republican-controlled state House. It’s unclear if the bill has the potential to pass in the state Senate, which is also under Republican control.

Ohio already has several other restrictions against abortion in effect. 30 measures passed in the last decade The iThe law also includes a ban on abortion after 20 weeks and requires that patients pay for and undergo an ultrasound prior to having an abortion. Recently, the state legislature approved a law that requires those who had an abortion to make a choice between cremation or burial of the fetal tissue. This is currently being challenged in the courts.

“The fight for abortion access isn’t just happening in Texas or in the Supreme Court ― it’s happening right here in Ohio,” said Iris Harvey, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio. “While abortion care is still legal and available, our state is becoming ground-zero of the anti-abortion movement and millions of Ohioans who need this crucial care are in real danger of having their constitutional rights stripped away.”

Six anti-abortion and three pro-transgender legislations are currently being drafted by the state legislature. Four Ohio cities introduced local ordinances prohibiting abortion as part of the campaign by Texas-based antiabortion 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 coming months after the high court hears a case on Mississippi’s 15-week ban in December.

Spoo said UltraViolet will continue to hold big corporations’ feet to the fire to ensure that consumers know where their money is going.

“We’re going to continue to put pressure, especially on AT&T, but also on other companies who think they can get away with saying they support equality in their PR statements and then turn around and open their purse, so to speak, to fund candidates who are directly working to explicitly roll back equality.”


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