Podcasts

NARAL’s Thanksgiving Podcast

NARAL’s The Morning After is on iTunes! Find our Podcast here: http://bit.ly/naralpodcast

This week, Randi, Jaime, and Gabe discuss Randi’s recent recording with New Voices, a leading organization fighting for Reproductive Justice. We also look at a new report by the AP that exposed John Kasich‘s role in crafting abortion restrictions in Ohio as early as 2012.

The Ohio House passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. We look at how the debate and vote went down. Jaime also brought up Kasich’s proposed — and cancelled — Department of Judeo-Christian Propaganda.

NARAL’s The Morning After is a production of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

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Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

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Podcasts

NARAL and New Voices — A podcast on Reproductive Justice

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NARAL’s The Morning After is on iTunes! Find our Podcast here: http://bit.ly/naralpodcast

This week, Randi talked with La’Tasha Mayes and  Jasmine Burnett of New Voices Pittsburgh. They’re working to bring Reproductive Justice to Western Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio and beyond.

Reproductive Justice is their innovative framework to engage Black women and girls in local, national and global movement-building for human rights, racial and gender justice.

Their discussion began with an exploration of Reproductive Justice as a concept, significantly different than the fight for reproductive rights. They branch out to involving Black men in the effort, sexual violence and gender-based violence, imprisonment of Black citizens, and environmental issues.

NARAL’s The Morning After is a production of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.

Itunes

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Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

Blog Post

NARAL in the NY Times

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Three stories we’ve been working on have appeared in the New York Times in the past few days.

Last Thursday, Meaghan Winter wrote an op-ed, The Stealth Attack on Abortion Access. She outlines efforts by anti-women politicians in many states to stop women from having access to a full range of reproductive health care. Our Kellie Copeland provided research assistance to the author.

In Ohio, legislators provided $1 million over the next two years for the centers. Meanwhile, the Ohio State Senate passed a bill last month that would restrict funding for Planned Parenthood affiliates, cutting access to breast and cervical cancer screenings, H.I.V. testing and violence against women programs. Since Gov. John R. Kasich took office in 2011, the state has passed restrictions that have cut the number of abortion clinics by about half.

Yesterday, Julie Carr Smyth reported for the Associated Press on John Kasich’s role in crafting abortion restrictions in the 2013 budget. Gov. Kasich always denied having a hand in the creation of restrictions during the legislative process. The AP report shows his office was working behind the scenes before and during the budget season.

Kasich’s Cabinet secretary, Tracy Intihar, received and made changes to an early draft of legislation codifying Ohio’s rules for outpatient surgery centers, which include abortion clinics, from late 2011 to mid-2012, the emails show. Two other Kasich staffers, legislative liaison Ben Kaiser and attorney Diane Brey, also were involved, as was Ohio Right to Life.

Finally, the paper reported today about a YouTube project to defend users from frivolous lawsuits attempting to take down videos. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio had posted a video earlier this year after two legislators made comments to young girls during committee hearings. YouTube included our video in a project demonstrating “fair use” of video content after the Ohio Channel filed a formal complaint.

“We aren’t a large organization,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of Naral Pro-Choice Ohio. “We just have six people here, so having YouTube’s support allowed us to not be afraid and to stand our ground on this situation.”


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

Blog Post

AP Report: Gov. John Kasich’s aides helped craft abortion restrictions

Gov. John Kasich’s aides helped craft abortion restrictions

November 18, 2015
Associated Press | Julie Carr Smyth

COLUMBUS, Ohio: Believing state legislators were solely responsible for abortion restrictions added to the 2013 budget bill, activists and editorialists across Ohio called on Gov. John Kasich to veto the provisions. What they didn’t know at the time was that Kasich’s office had a hand in developing some of the language.

Among other things, the provisions required abortion clinics to have emergency-transfer agreements with hospitals, prevented public hospitals from joining those agreements and strengthened the state health director’s authority to refuse exceptions. The combination contributed to clinic closures or near-closures in several cities.

Although it’s not uncommon for a governor’s office to help draft legislation, in this case Kasich — now a Republican presidential contender — had presented himself publicly as uninvolved and neutral as the legislative provisions emerged.

But Kasich aides began helping hone some of that language about 18 months before it emerged publicly, according to internal emails obtained by an abortion provider and given to The Associated Press last month. The governor’s office confirmed the emails’ authenticity.

Kasich’s Cabinet secretary, Tracy Intihar, received and made changes to an early draft of legislation codifying Ohio’s rules for outpatient surgery centers, which include abortion clinics, from late 2011 to mid-2012, the emails show. Two other Kasich staffers, legislative liaison Ben Kaiser and attorney Diane Brey, also were involved, as was Ohio Right to Life.

When asked this month about the AP’s findings, Kasich spokesman Joe Andrews said the governor’s office didn’t initiate the amendments, which emerged as Kasich and fellow Republicans in the Legislature were under pressure to pass a bill that would have imposed the most stringent abortion restrictions proposed in any state at the time.

“Providing feedback on proposed or contemplated legislation, and especially on issues that are complex, is very common for state agencies and the governor’s office,” he said.

Andrews said Intihar, the Cabinet secretary, played an advisory role after the administration learned John Adams, at the time a Republican state representative from Sidney, was working to overhaul Ohio law on the surgical centers.

The records show Intihar helped Adams incorporate the “more stringent” of certain provisions into the final draft — a task Andrews said was Adams’ idea, not Kasich’s.

The provisions weren’t part of the budget Kasich unveiled in February 2013. As they were added during votes from April to June of that year, public outcry intensified.

“They’ve gone too far, governor. Use your veto pen,” read a headline on an editorial in the Akron Beacon Journal.

Asked by an attendee at a Bowling Green forum in June 2013 whether he would veto the provisions, Kasich maintained an air of neutrality.

“First of all, I’m pro-life, so we’ll have to see how this proceeds through the House and Senate and the conference committee,” he said in a quote redistributed by NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio. “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.”

Brenda Erickson, an analyst for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, said the public typically knows who’s writing a piece of legislation but not always its source.

“Because legislatures can get ideas from anywhere — lobbyists, state agencies, the governor, other states, citizens — you often do not know what forces are driving these bills,” she said.

Sandy Theis, executive director of the liberal policy group ProgressOhio, said Kasich had a political reason to conceal any role his office played. “Gov. Kasich intentionally hid the pivotal role he played in Ohio’s assault on reproductive rights,” she said. “He did this because he knows Ohio remains a pro-choice state and he does not want to be held accountable for his actions.”


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

Blog Post

Kasich one step closer to defunding Planned Parenthood

The Ohio House is voting on House Bill 294, which defunds Planned Parenthood. The bill, identical to its companion Senate Bill 214, takes funding used by Planned Parenthood health and education programs and disburses it among potentially hundreds of other providers. No public health care providers or Federally Qualified Health Centers testified that they want to receive this funding or could take on patients turned away from Planned Parenthood. No educators testified that they would replace the comprehensive sex education programs that Planned Parenthood would be blocked from offering.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland:

Gov. Kasich claims to want to improve health care access for Ohioans. However, his support for this bill shows that he cares more about scoring political points with Republican primary voters to bolster his failing presidential campaign. Planned Parenthood is the target, but the ones who are going to get hit with the consequences of this are the people who depend on the services that will be disrupted.

Ohioans that depend on Planned Parenthood for potentially life-saving services like comprehensive sex education, breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV testing and infant mortality prevention programs may have nowhere else to turn. Gov. Kasich should veto this bill when it comes to his desk.

This bill works against goals outlined by Gov. Kasich in multiple State of the State speeches as he advocated for reducing Ohio’s infant mortality rate. This bill stops health care workers from providing services to pregnant women seeking healthy pregnancies. It will also decrease access to critically needed HIV testing as well as breast and cervical cancer screenings.

Anti-choice politicians say they want to reduce the number of abortions in Ohio, however this bill will stop qualified health educators from providing a comprehensive curriculum to teens in foster care and juvenile detention. At-risk youth need education to make smart choices and avoid unintended pregnancies. That is the best way to prevent unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion.

After today’s vote, the Ohio House version, HB 294, moves to the Senate for consideration. The Senate version, SB 214, was passed by that chamber on October 21, 2015. Senate Bill 214 has been assigned to the House committee on Community and Family Advancement.


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio

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Statement from Amy Hagstrom Miller: “Today, my heart is filled with hope”

Check out the terrific statement from Amy Hagstrom Miller, President & CEO of Whole Woman’s Health. Go Amy!

Hello, My name is Amy Hagstrom Miller, Founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health. We are the lead plaintiff in this case. I own and operate 8 high quality independent abortion care clinics in 5 states – Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico and Maryland.

Today is an exciting day for Whole Woman’s Health. We have been fighting this draconian law since 2013. After a series of appeals and emergency injunctions, here we are today, having heard from the highest court of the land that they will hear our case. I want to thank the Center for Reproductive Rights for continuing to partner with our organization in our continued fight to stand up for the reproductive rights for the women of Texas.

Today, my heart is filled with hope. Although this is the first step in a much longer process, I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will uphold the rights…

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Blog Post

Our statement: SCOTUS to Hear Case Against Texas’ Clinic Closure Law

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On Friday, the United States Supreme Court said they will hear Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, the case against Texas’ dangerous law that has shuttered abortion clinics across the state.

Since the Texas law being challenged first went into effect in 2013, over half of the abortion clinics in their state have been forced to close. If the law is allowed to go into full effect, only 10 clinics will remain in Texas—a state with 5.4 million women of reproductive age.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland made the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision:

“It is clear that there has been a coordinated national campaign by anti-choice politicians, like Governor John Kasich, to enact laws to shut down quality abortion clinics. Just like in Texas, Ohio has lost half of our abortion providers and women are being forced to cross state lines or delay access to care.

“Access to health care should not depend on a person’s income, where they live or their ability to travel to another state. It’s time for the Supreme Court to protect the fundamental rights it has recognized time and again. It is time for them to send a clear message that these dangerous laws create an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion.”

The coalition of abortion providers bringing the case to the Supreme Court is challenging provisions of the Texas law that mandate that all abortion clinics meet mini-hospital standards—which requires unnecessary and expensive building renovations including widening hallways and adding in locker rooms—and give hospital boards veto power over which clinics are able to provide abortion care.

The American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other national health care experts are united in opposing Texas’ HB 2.

A recent study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) reveals that the widespread abortion clinic closures as a result of HB 2 are substantially increasing wait times for abortions, pushing people seeking abortion care later into their pregnancies and making the procedure more difficult for them to afford. Wait times at clinics in Austin and Fort Worth exceed 20 days and will likely increase if more clinics are forced to close.


Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.

Contribute to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio