NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
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Kasich Dodges Questions about the Budget

Responds, “First of all I’m pro-life…”
Columbus, OH – Today at a Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce forum, a University of Toledo medical student asked Governor John Kasich if he would veto budget measures that threaten to close abortion clinics and family planning centers jeopardizing women’s access to safe, legal health care and limiting access to critically important training opportunities for OB/Gyn residents. In response, Governor Kasich said, "First of all I’m pro-life so we’ll have to see how this proceeds through the House and the Senate and the Conference Committee and we just gotta see how it goes. Then I’ll make a decision on that as to whether I think it goes too far, but keep in mind I’m pro-life.”

"The Ohio budget includes four separate provisions that jeopardize women’s access to medical care,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of the Ohio-based organization. "If these items aren’t removed abortion clinics will be shuttered, family planning specialists will close, financial assistance for families will be diverted to unregulated crisis pregnancy centers, and counselors will be barred from giving survivors comprehensive medical information about their healthcare options if they are impregnated by their rapist. This appalling agenda is out of touch with Ohio values and we need Governor Kasich to pledge to keep it from becoming law.”

If passed, the budget would require all ambulatory surgical centers to have transfer agreements with hospitals (this is currently a regulation and not a law) and grant authority to the director of the Ohio Department of Health to decline or revoke a variance for a transfer agreement for an ambulatory surgical center for any reason. The new amendment goes a step further and bans public hospitals from having transfer agreements with abortion clinics (but not other ambulatory surgical centers). The director could then close any clinic that does not have a transfer agreement or variance. Transfer agreements do not impact patient safety in any way.

The proposed budget bill would also divert federal TANF dollars intended to be used for cash support for mothers and their children to unregulated crisis pregnancy centers. A year-long investigation by NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Foundation into crisis pregnancy centers revealed widespread use of medically inaccurate information.

The reprioritization of family planning funding would defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning experts, many of whom serve the poor in rural counties. This proposal will wreak havoc on tens of thousands of patients that rely on these facilities, and could result in eleven counties losing access to subsidized family planning services entirely.

Additionally, language has been included in the budget that would bar rape crisis counselors from counseling about or referring to abortion care if the victim is impregnated by their rapist.
Contact: Kellie Copeland, 216-283-2180
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