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Hagan testifies about health bill

COLUMBUS — State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan gave sponsor testimony Tuesday before the Ohio House Health Committee about the Prevention First Act, which she said aims to improve the health and well-being of Ohioans by addressing access to contraception and comprehensive sex education.

“The Prevention First Act gives Ohio families what they are asking for. They want comprehensive sex education, not politically motivated abstinence-only education,” said Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown. “For Ohio’s working families to thrive, we must focus on prevention first.”

House Bill 184 would mandate sexual health and sexually transmitted infection education in schools, provide certain hospital and pregnancy prevention services for victims of sexual assault and provide insurance coverage for prescription contraceptive drugs and devices. It also would establish the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Task Force and require hospitals and pharmacies to have policies maintaining patients’ right to access birth control without judgment or delay.

“Ohio is not doing well when it comes to infant mortality and teen pregnancy. Ohioans need medically accurate information to be prepared for pregnancy and a child,” she said. “Parents and children deserve better.”

Lepore-Hagan also introduced the bill in the last General Assembly session. It was not approved.