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Ohio's Top Doctor Concerned About Vaccination Bill

Amy Acton (pictured) supports vaccinations and says the science saying otherwise is not accurate and is potentially harmful.

The top doctor in state government says she’s keeping an eye on legislation involving vaccinations and abortion. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton is concerned with one measure that opponents say have some dubious medical science behind them. 

Acton says she’ll weigh in on vaccinations. There’s a House bill that would demand schools post information about vaccine exemptions just as they put up immunization requirements.

“Everything has a risk benefit. But vaccines are the surest, safest way that we can keep our kids healthy. So you’ll see me speak out on that.”

Acton says Ohio had one of the worst outbreaks of measles in 2014, but the state has only had one case of measles this year. 

Rep. Don Manning (R-New Middletown) sponsored the bill. He says it’s not anti-vaccination legislation, but he’s worried schools are hiding legal exemptions such as medical issues or religious convictions.

There are two questionable abortion bills – one requiring doctors performing medication abortions to tell patients of pills that can reverse them, and another allowing insurance coverage of a non-existent procedure in an ectopic pregnancy to move the fertilized egg inside the uterus. Acton says because her agency is facing an unrelated abortion policy lawsuit, she can’t talk about the issue.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.