2, Blog Post

Abortion Access Without Apology

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EMAIL YOUR STATE SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE

Yesterday, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio was joined by members of the Ohio House of Representatives and Planned Parenthood in calling for new legislation to improve access to women’s health care, including safe and legal abortion.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland: “A woman who decides to have an abortion deserves access to safe and legal care for the procedure. Once she has made her decision, her health is best protected by getting an abortion procedure as early as possible. Forcing a woman to travel outside her community, delaying her procedure for a 24 hour reflection period, or forcing her to scrape together money because her insurance is banned from covering the procedure are all barriers that are designed to prevent her from accessing abortion care with a safe, licensed health care provider. This new legislation will remove these obstacles.

She continued: “John Kasich’s 16 new restrictions on reproductive health care and the closure of half of Ohio’s abortion clinics has resulted in women delaying their procedures or fleeing to other states, including Michigan. John Kasich is creating a pending health crisis for women seeking an abortion. It is wrong to endanger women’s’ health for political gain, or ideological reasons. That is why we support this group of legislation.”

The 2014 Ohio Induced Abortion Report indicated a decrease in abortions performed in Ohio, but a similar report in Michigan showed an increase in procedures performed on women from outside that state.

Further analysis of the 2014 Ohio Abortion Report reveals that the percentage of abortions that are performed in the first nine weeks of pregnancy declined from 56.5 percent to 52.3 percent. Correspondingly, the percentage of abortions performed between 9-12 weeks rose from 28.5 percent to 31.3 percent. Abortions performed between 13-18 weeks rose from 12.6 percent to 14 percent. This indicates that women have to delay access to care due to Kasich’s barriers and clinic closures.

2014 Ohio Induced Abortion Report: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/healthstats/vitalstats/abortionmainpage.aspx

Access Without Apology Overview:

Bill #1: Lift the transfer agreement requirement for public hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities.
Sponsor: Rep. Kathleen Clyde and Rep. Dan Ramos

Bill #2: Lift the ban on using Ohio public dollars on abortion care.
Sponsor: Rep. Teresa Fedor and Rep. Nick Celebrezze

Bill #3: Lift the ban on insurance coverage of abortion for public employees and for Ohioans who purchase insurance through the federal health exchange.
Sponsor: Rep. Greta Johnson and Rep. Nickie Antonio

Bill #4: Lift the 24-hour waiting period before women may obtain an abortion.
Sponsor: Rep. Greta Johnson and Rep. Kent Smith

Bill #5: Create right of action for those targeted by anti-abortion protesters’ non-physical harassment – e.g. Wright State doctors having trucks parked outside their homes and “killers among us” postcards sent to their neighbors. Create a buffer zone to protect clinic patients from harassment by anti-abortion protesters. 
Sponsor: Rep. Stephanie Howse and Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan

Bill #6: Require Crisis Pregnancy Centers that get funding through TANF-funded program provide only medically accurate information or face sanctions.
Sponsor: Rep. Emilia Sykes and Janine Boyd


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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2, Blog Post

Kasich Wins In A Landslide

Kasich Wins In A Landslide
Wins contest for worst record on women’s health

Tonight, while ten candidates will vie for the Republican nomination, only one will be able to claim the title of Worst Candidate For Women. As governor, Ohio’s John Kasich has actually signed into law sixteen measures attacking women’s health. Where some candidates may use more extreme language on abortion rights and against abortion providers, only John Kasich can claim to have done more to destroy access to abortion services in his state.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland offered the following statement: “John Kasich has enacted abortion bans and cut funding for family planning services to Planned Parenthood. His record of signing one terrible bill after another is unmatched among tonight’s debate panelists.

“During the Kasich administration, half of Ohio’s abortion clinics have closed. These closures happened because Kasich allows his political appointees to use the Ohio Department of Health as an attack vehicle against abortion providers across the state.

“They say that some dogs’ bark is worse than their bite. This isn’t the case for John Kasich. He might not bark tonight, but he has been chewing away at women’s rights for years.”

Supporters of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio are joined by the national NARAL organization, which is asking presidential candidates to #OwnIt and admit to their anti-abortion records. Visit https://ownit2016.com/ for more. Gov. Kasich’s failing grade with women will continue to be a part of their discussion of the 2016 presidential election.

The table below shows each candidate’s recorded votes or signed legislation attacking women’s health care.

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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

2, Blog Post

Ohio Women Condemn Sneaky Abortion Restrictions

John Kasich failed to stand up for women when he signed new abortion restrictions into law tonight. His $71 billion budget includes regulations unrelated to the state’s finances. The new rules for abortion providers handed to the Ohio Department of Health were added without any public input from the department. Abortion providers had no opportunity to provide testimony to any Finance committee or subcommittee.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland offered the following statement:

John Kasich just approved regulatory schemes that were written by anti-choice special interest groups and inserted into the budget through sneaky maneuvers at the 11th hour. These regulatory schemes have one purpose: to remove women’s access to safe and legal abortion. This will hurt women. When women seek abortion, having the procedure be legal and accessible keeps it safe. Governor Kasich’s policies will continue to push women to seek illegal, unsafe alternatives. Today’s signing of this budget bill will make things even worse.

These restrictions are completely medically unnecessary. A transfer agreement doesn’t need a mile restriction because in the very rare case of a medical emergency, the patient will be taken to the nearest hospital. If a variance for a transfer agreement had any impact on patient safety, why did the Ohio Department of Health wait three years before ruling on one last week in Dayton? These are political gimmicks, not health care regulations. Their only purpose is to make it harder, if not impossible, to get an abortion in Ohio.

The budget also continued to harm — not help — the fight to reduce infant mortality. Despite a victory lap by Republican leadership, the final budget simply restored eligibility to two Medicaid programs after being cut by the Kasich administration. They did not increase access to care at all. Republican leadership neglected to restore eligibility to a third program for family planning. Family planning care gives Ohioans access to affordable contraception, which is critical for women seeking to plan healthy pregnancies.

Finally, the budget gives $1,000,000 to crisis pregnancy centers from the funds for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. This literally takes money from low-income Ohioans and gives it to organizations that are not regulated, do not offer any health care, but do shame and lie to women seeking pregnancy answers.


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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2, Blog Post

11th hour attacks on abortion headed to John Kasich, must be vetoed

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Click to Veto

Ohio House and Senate leaders violated a deal to remove a budget amendment that will close Toledo’s last abortion provider. The re-added measure could ultimately end abortion access on the Western half of the state. The budget also strips low-income women of Medicaid family planning care while earmarking $1,000,000 for crisis pregnancy centers. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio demands Gov. John Kasich remove the attacks on abortion clinics from the bill using a line-item veto.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland:

Ohio women will not stand for 11th hour, backdoor maneuvers that end access to abortion. We demand that Gov. Kasich veto these measures.

A compassionate leader does not sign away women’s rights before jetting off to campaign stops in Iowa or New Hampshire. John Kasich cannot simply excuse his own actions by saying ‘I’m just signing what they gave me.’ He will be responsible when women die through unsafe, illegal abortions.


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

2, Blog Post

Ohio Senate Playing Hokey Pokey with CPC Funding

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Ohio Senate Playing Hokey Pokey with CPC Funding
Crisis Pregnancy Centers use public funds to shame and lie to women

Today’s substitute budget bill released by the Ohio Senate Finance Committee has reinserted public funds for the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program. Funds passing through the program pay for crisis pregnancy centers that do not offer any health care to women. Proposed funding is $1,000,000 over two years drawn from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland: “The Ohio legislature is playing the Hokey Pokey with funding for crisis pregnancy centers. They put a million in, they put a million out, they put a million in and they shake it all about. This would be funny if it wasn’t $1,000,000 of taxpayer money for organizations that directly lie to women. CPCs appear to offer health care, but their stated goal is to scam pregnant women who think they can get answers on abortion options.”

Copeland continued: “The budget also fails to include family planning coverage for low-income women through a Medicaid Optional program. The Kasich administration rolled back eligibility in that program from 200% of the Federal Poverty Level to 138% FPL. Family planning care helps women avoid unintended pregnancies, which reduces the rate of abortion. Access to affordable contraception benefits women in ways that CPCs never can.”

The Kasich administration has continued to prioritize ideological organizations like CPCs and anti-women policies including abortion bans. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio encourages the administration and legislature to explore preventive policies offering real care and comprehensive sex education.


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

2, Blog Post

Victory in the state budget! (Tentatively)

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NARAL has been asking Ohioans to contact their state senators and representatives since February about a glaring problem with the budget: three critical Medicaid Optional programs were being rolled back. Women between 138% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level would lose access to breast & cervical cancer treatment, family planning, and pregnancy care. Cuts to that last program were most outrageous because John Kasich has made reducing infant mortality part of many major speeches.

This week, we learned your action has paid off! Reported by Robert Higgs at the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

A two-year budget plan unveiled Monday by the Ohio Senate would restore funding for a pair of Medicaid-supported programs for poor women that the administration had targeted for elimination. …

“Ohioans spoke and politicians listened. We know the dangers of removing coverage for at-risk women seeking to have healthy pregnancies,” said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro Choice Ohio. “If Ohio is ever going to make progress in eliminating infant mortality, we must maintain these programs.”

Still unavailable to uninsured women in the coverage gap is the family planning program. In a statement to the media, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio said:

An equally important step to reducing infant mortality is access to affordable contraception. Helping women plan their pregnancies allows them to create families when they’re prepared to become caring parents. If the House and Senate are truly committed to correcting the mistakes of the Kasich administration, they’ll restore funding for the family planning program as well.

Finally, and most interesting, the $500,000 for Crisis Pregnancy Center disappeared! Poof, it’s gone. We’re cautiously thrilled, as CPCs are horrible organizations that lie and shame pregnant women seeking answers. They pose as medical providers, but only offer free diapers, ultrasounds, and prayer — contraception or abortion options not discussed.

How did the $500K for CPCs get pulled? What was traded for the budget item? We don’t know, but nothing is free. 

We’ll be keeping a constant watch as we count down the end of budget season. Kasich is due to sign the bill on June 30.


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