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Abortion rights opponents promise a tough fight

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Anti-abortion rights organizations are getting ready to fight the proposed amendment that would essentially codify the Roe v. Wade decision in the Ohio constitution.

On this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the proposal with Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right To Life.

Abortion in Ohio

Last week, we spoke with an abortion provider from Cleveland who’s leading the effort to convince voters to change the Ohio constitution to guarantee the right of a woman to get an abortion. This week, we get the other side of the abortion rights amendment issue.

If the amendment passes, the state would have the ability to ban abortions after the point of viability, which is generally considered to be between 21 and 24 weeks. After that point, abortions would only be allowed if the woman’s life or health is in danger.

Both sides are waiting for Attorney General Dave Yost’s decision on the amendment’s language. If approved by the attorney general and then the ballot board, supporters would have until early July to collect some 414,000 signatures to get it on the November 2023 ballot.

Polls have consistently shown a clear majority of Ohioans support legal abortion with restrictions so voter turnout will be crucial to campaign efforts.

Householder takes the stand

Somebody is not telling the truth in the Larry Householder bribery and racketeering trial, or at least someone’s memory is really failing them.

In what would have been must-see-TV if cameras were allowed in federal court, the former House Speaker took the stand this week to tell jurors he’s just an underdog state lawmaker trying to do good by the people of Ohio. He did not take $61 million in money from FirstEnergy to coordinate a scheme to have the state pay $1.3 billion to bail out two of the company’s nuclear power plants.

A Householder strategist had testified the scheme was hatched at a Washington D.C. steakhouse the weekend of Donald Trump's inauguration in 2017. Householder said he did not go to a steakhouse, but instead went to a pizza place with his wife.

Householder described his interaction with FirstEnergy Executives, more or less, as informal meetings. FirstEnergy has pleaded guilty to bribing Householder in return for bailing out the nuclear power plants.

Snollygoster of the week

Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green used statistics to show how the Biden administration is doing when it comes to stopping fentanyl coming north from Mexico. She compared the last year of the Trump administration to the first two years of Biden’s.

The statistics show a dramatic increase in fentanyl seizures under Biden and she argues that this is evidence that our borders are worse.

She said that because Trump was tougher on undocumented immigrants than Biden, less fentanyl came across and less was seized. But again, the federal government says 87% of those arrested trafficking fentanyl are U.S. citizens, not asylum seekers, migrants or undocumented immigrants.

If you have a suggestion for our "Snollygoster of the Week" award, a question or a comment, send them to snollygoster@wosu.org.