Rep. Antonio Introduces New Legislation To Ensure Young Pregnant Women Get Adequate Care
This week, State Representatives Nickie J. Antonio and Kristin Boggs announced new legislation to help ensure that young pregnant women in Ohio have a say in their own healthcare decisions.
“I believe that all expectant mothers should have access to healthcare and safe delivery options, regardless of their age,” said Boggs. “I hope this legislation will encourage expectant mothers to get the care they need to support their health, and their baby’s health, even if their legal guardians are unwilling to support their pregnancy.”
Ohio law currently includes a judicial emancipation process for minors who wish to make their own medical decisions. However, many pregnancy-related medical conditions must be immediately addressed in order to ensure the best health outcome for the mother and future child.
“A labor and delivery nurse actually brought this important issue to my attention,” said Antonio. “Too many young women in Ohio are not receiving the prenatal treatment they desperately need. This legislation will help ensure happy, healthy babies are brought into the world.”
HB 302 will allow pregnant minors to consent to healthcare from the prenatal stage through delivery.
“As a nurse it is my duty to operate as a patient advocate. I reached out to Rep. Antonio to do just that – to advocate for my patients,” said Maureen Sweeney, a Cleveland-area nurse and Rep. Antonio's constituent. “Under current law minors are unable to consent to procedures during pregnancy and later during delivery, resulting in delayed medical intervention. Pregnancy should not be a traumatic experience. My hope is that with this legislation young women will be able to consent to care, resulting in healthier outcomes for themselves and their children.”
HB 302 will be considered by a committee once the Ohio House of Representatives returns from the summer recess in September. If this proposed legislation is of interest to you, Representatives Antonio and Boggs encourage you to reach out to their offices in Columbus for more information on how to get involved.
State Representative Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) is honored to be serving her fourth term in the Ohio House of Representatives.
State Representative Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) is honored to be serving her fourth term in the Ohio House of Representatives. Representing the 13th House District, she was also appointed to serve on the Democratic Caucus leadership team as Minority Whip during the 132nd General Assembly, having previously served as Minority Whip in the 131st General Assembly, and Assistant Minority Whip for part of the 130th. Antonio’s district includes the City of Lakewood and parts of Cleveland’s West Side: The Detroit Shoreway (Gordon Square Arts District), The Stockyards, West Boulevard, Cudell, The Village of Linndale, and a section of Ohio City neighborhoods.
Antonio currently serves as the highest ranking Democratic member of the Health and Aging Committee. Additionally, she serves on the Finance and Appropriations Committee, Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education, Rules and Reference Committee and the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee. Antonio is also a member of the Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus—previously serving as chair—and is state director for the Women Legislators’ Lobby.
Rep. Antonio is known as a civic-minded public servant who is concerned with the quality of life of those around her. Her commitment to social justice advocacy spans multiple decades, extending into public policy after her election to Lakewood City Council in 2005. During her tenure on the council, Antonio chaired the Economic Development, Housing, and Human Services committees; served on the Public Works and Finance Committees; and was the council representative for both the Lakewood Hospital Board and Community Relations Board. As councilwoman, Antonio facilitated successful strategies for economic development through proactive policies such as the sidewalk-dining legislation, which reversed a long-lasting city ordinance prohibiting restaurant patrons from being seated by the sidewalk. Antonio also supported environmental legislation that reduced the rate of toxic fuel emissions. During her five-year period on the council, Antonio was a persistent proponent of diversity appreciation and understanding through the Lakewood Community Relations Advisory Commission, of which she is a founder.
The first in her family to graduate from college, Antonio holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from the Maxine Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, also from CSU. Antonio is an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School Senior and Executive Leadership program for State and Local Governments, and also a graduate of Lutheran West High School in Rocky River, Ohio.
A former special education teacher and non-profit executive director for a women’s outpatient drug/alcohol treatment program, Antonio worked for nearly twenty years as a consultant for non-profits and governmental agencies in Northeast Ohio, and served as administrator for a multi-county HIV/AIDS regional planning group. While fulfilling these positions, Antonio was also an Adjunct Professor at CSU, teaching courses in Women’s Studies and Public Administration. She continues her civic involvement through her leadership roles in numerous community groups such as the non-profit Cleveland Tenants Organization, of which she is a board member.
Because of the nature of her social justice advocacy and activity, Antonio is known as a collaborative community builder and organizer. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts and civic engagement as effective tools to develop local and statewide viability and economic success. Antonio is also a certified coach and continually advocates for the benefits to society as a whole when individuals are valued and encouraged to rise to their highest potential and purpose.
Daughters Ariel and Stacey, both Lakewood High School graduates, have made Rep. Antonio and wife Jean Kosmac very proud as the girls engage in their post-secondary pursuits.