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WYSO Morning News Update: Proposed ban on gender transition medications and procedures for minors; Oregon District shooting survivor visits Buffalo

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Your WYSO Morning News Update for May 20, 2022, with Mike Frazier:

  • Abortion 'Trigger bill' proponent testimony
    (Statehouse News Bureau) — Supporters of a bill that would ban abortion in Ohio if the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade testified in a House committee Thursday. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports much of the debate came down to the lack of exceptions for things like rape, incest, or the life or health of a pregnant person. Many of the bill’s backers said they consider fertilization or conception to be when life begins. And this bill would ban abortion from that point, without exceptions. Melanie Miller with the anti-abortion Ashland Pregnancy Care Center said abortion makes the trauma of rape or incest worse. “Two wrongs can never correct a right. And I have heard first-hand where the child has even been that silver lining, the gift or the good that has come out of that tragic situation," said Miller. But in a ten-year study of a thousand people who had abortions, 95% said it was the right decision. Opponents say under the bill, it would be too complicated for doctors to defend themselves for performing abortions to save people’s lives.
  • Non-citizens voting amendment
    (Statehouse News Bureau) — A constitutional amendment stating that non-citizens can’t vote in Ohio is working its way through the legislature and could be before voters this fall. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports the issue, long of concern to Republicans, could appear on a crowded ballot that includes races for governor and US Senate. Republican Rep. Bill Seitz said the state constitution guarantees the vote to all eligible citizens, it doesn’t ban state or local lawmakers from allowing non-citizens to vote too. “What seemed incomprehensible to me only a few years ago may become a reality here in Ohio in a few years unless we act," Seitz said. He notes in March 2020, voters in liberal Yellow Springs approved allowing non-citizens to register and vote in municipal elections – but Secretary of State Frank LaRose ruled those registrations must be rejected. Three-fifths of legislators would have to approve the amendment before it could go to the fall ballot, where it would likely drive turnout among Republican voters. And the Columbus Dispatch reports that the ACLU of Ohio calls the proposal a political maneuver that fuels “fanatical xenophobia.”
  • Gender affirming legislation
    (Statehouse News Bureau) — An Ohio House committee held a hearing on a proposed ban on gender transition medications and procedures for minors. While supporters offered testimony inside the Statehouse, opponents made their voice heard outside. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reported a group of transgender advocates gathered to protest a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing gender transition medications or doing procedures on minors. Republican Representative Gary Click said the bill would protect kids from the potential health risks. “We don't think that a child – and professionals have testified to that today – that a child is able to give informed consent to those things," Click stated. Felicia DeRosa was among some protestors outside the Statehouse, saying it sends a dangerous message to transgender kids who are already vulnerable to mental health issues. “What the legislature should do is mind their own business, and just make sure that health care is available for all who need it, in whatever capacity, and let the parents, let the families and the caregivers work together to figure out what that looks like for the individual,” DeRosa said. LGBTQ+ advocates say gender affirming care is safe, effective, and supported by all major medical associations.

  • Oregon District survivor in Buffalo
    (WYSO) — Dion Green is a survivor of the 2019 Oregon District shooting in Dayton. Currently, he’s in Buffalo, New York offering support to families and friends of the victims of Saturday’s shooting, where a gunman opened fire in a grocery store – killing ten people and injuring three others. Dion Green watched his father die in his arms during the 2019 Oregon District shooting. When he heard about Saturday’s shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, — which officials believe was racially motivated — he knew his experience would allow him to offer much needed support. Green’s been talking to the victim’s family and friends about what they can expect. He says it’s important to allow them to grieve in their own time. "Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. Just show your support. With trauma and grief , there’s isolation. So, that’s a big thing they’re going to be challenged with. Also, with depression and survivors guilt," Green said. Green emphasizes the healing journey can be different for everyone. Through his organization - called the FUDGE Foundation, named after his late father.– he helps those who have been directly impacted by mass shootings and other forms of violence.