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Student Senate passes resolution condemning state abortion bill

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Student Senate debates a resolution about abortion at it's March 28 meeting. Photo by Nate Doughty.

As written, HB 565 would classify a fetus in any stage as an unborn child. Women who get an abortion would face homicide charges.

Student Senate debated a resolution Wednesday that called for the condemnation of Ohio House Bill 565, which would outlaw abortion in the state, including cases of rape, incest or if the life of the mother.

Resolution 1718-20 asks that the state legislators who proposed the bill rescind it. As written, HB 565 would classify a fetus in any stage as an unborn child. Women who get an abortion would face homicide charges.

The nearly 45-minute debate centered around whether such a resolution was necessary and its potential impacts.

“Ohio House Bill 565 impinges on my ability to safely practice medicine,” Arika Knannlein, the senator from the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and one of the primary sponsors of the resolution, said. “Such dangerous pieces of legislation strip patients of autonomy and put them at great risk. It is harmful to the physician patient relationship and inhibits access to safe medical care.

Knannlein argued it was important to denounce this bill because student senate represents a sexually active constituency who could be impacted by it.

“It is our duty and our responsibility to represent our constituents in a way that acknowledges and upholds their constitutional rights,” Knannlein said.

The resolution was passed with one “no” vote and four abstentions.

Senate also passed additional resolutions that dealt with future budgeting. Resolution 1718-154 allows for the purchasing of senate office supplies and resolution 1718-156 permits the purchase of reusable bags. Both passed unanimously.

Environmental Affairs Commissioner Lydia Ramlo spoke to the body about the partnership between the commission and Culinary Services to promote reusable bags on campus, with some of the funding for the initiative coming from resolution 1718-156.

Campus markets will soon offer a $0.05 credit if students use a reusable bag, either through one that is purchased at the market or if they use their own. Culinary Services said to date there have been over 1,700 reusable bags sold at the markets since the start of the program.

To help promote the use of renewable bags, the current $0.01 tax placed on those who use plastic bags is being increased to $0.05. The commission is hoping to give future students a reusable bag at the start of their first semester at Ohio University.

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