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Backers Tweak Abortion Education Bill In Ohio House

desks in a classroom
Creative Commons

A bill in the Ohio House that would establish health education standards initially contained a provision that said schools, restaurants and health care providers shall post a message about how to deal with problem pregnancies on their bathroom stall doors. However, that part of the bill has now been scrapped.

The bill's stated focus is to require public school and health teachers to teach about pregnancy, fetal development and abortion. Conservative Christian activist Barry Sheets said one part required signs on bathroom stalls.

Sheets said the signs would include this text: “There are many public and private willing and able to help you carry your child to term and assist you after your child is born." 

Melissa Cropper with the Ohio Federation of Teachers testified against the bill, including that part of it that required the message on doors of bathroom stalls. She noted there could be language barriers given the makeup of Ohio's public schools, especially those in urban areas.

“We are at over 100 different languages we have in our schools,” Cropper said.

That part of the bill that required messages on bathroom walls has since been removed. Currently, Ohio is the only state in the country that lacks a health education standards law.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.