Issue 1’s First Anti-Abortion Policy Unveiled in Ohio Senate



Ohio State Senator Sandra O’Brien has introduced Senate Bill 159, which proposes tax credits for donors to “pregnancy resource centers” that do not advise on abortion and are often linked to religious organizations. The bill specifies that a center must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with its main office in Ohio, have at least half its client base claiming to be Ohio residents, and primarily offer free or low-cost services like pregnancy testing to qualify for the tax credit. The cost to the state for these tax credits would be capped at $10 million, and donations eligible for tax credit cannot go to a center that performs, promotes, or affiliates with an organization that performs nontherapeutic abortions.

Ohio Senate Bill Promotes Tax Credits for Donations to Pregnancy Resource Centers

The Ohio Senate has introduced a bill offering tax credits for contributions to “pregnancy resource centers” that do not provide abortion advice. State Senator Sandra O’Brien introduced Senate Bill 159, which would allow a tax credit for donors to these centers, often affiliated with religious organizations and some receiving state funding through grants from the governor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. These centers offer services like ultrasounds, pregnancy advice, and classes. To learn more about these centers’ funding, visit this link.

Criteria for Eligibility and Impact on State Budget

The proposed bill outlines certain eligibility criteria for centers to qualify for donors’ tax credits. The center must have non-profit status, a significant presence in Ohio, at least 50% local clientele, and a primary purpose of offering free or low-cost pregnancy assistance. The bill caps the total cost of these tax credits to the state at $10 million. For a detailed overview of the bill, check out this Legislative Service Center analysis.

Controversy Around Abortions and Pregnancy Resource Centers

Abortion rights advocates argue that these so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” do not provide comprehensive options to pregnant people and may provide misinformation. Meanwhile, Senator O’Brien lauds these centers for providing essential services and financial support to mothers and families in their communities.

Recent Developments on Abortion Rights in Ohio

This bill follows recent decisions on abortion rights in Ohio. A majority of Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment protecting the right to abortion, according to unofficial results. However, Ohio House members of the “pro-life caucus” have pledged to legislate away abortion rights, sparking additional controversy.

Political Reactions to the Bill

In support of the bill, state Senator Jerry Cirino emphasized the need for more pregnancy resource centers and backed increased funding for them. Despite recent developments, he underlined the necessity of outreach and support for women in these situations.

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