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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Blog Post

Kasich: Two-faced on infant mortality

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Ohio Governor John Kasich was talking about infant mortality early on. He mentioned it in his first three State of the State speeches. Talk is cheap, but apparently he feels taking action is too expensive.

ACLU Ohio breaks it down in an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Whether bowing to political pressures or presidential aspirations, Kasich’s state budget proposal for 2015-2016 rolls back Medicaid coverage. Ohio House Bill 64 would decrease the amount of money a family can make and still enroll in Medicaid. For example, income for a family of three would now be capped at $27,724 a year. Pregnant women, one of the groups who stand to benefit most by having access to regular medical care, are put at serious risk by this plan.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cites the lack of prenatal care as a primary risk factor for having a premature delivery. Children who are born preterm frequently suffer from birth defects and lifelong health problems. The majority of babies who die before their first birthday are born prematurely.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has been sounding the alarm since February. In our release:

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “John Kasich keeps repeating he wants to reduce infant mortality, but his budget proposal will leave many low-income women without any health coverage at all. Babies born to mothers who received no prenatal care are three times more likely to be born at low birth weight and five times more likely to die than those whose mothers received prenatal care.”

In multiple budget committee hearings, State Rep. Nicki Antonio (D-Lakewood), Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron), and Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) all demanded answers. On the House floor before the budget was voted on, Rep. Sykes spoke passionately:

Will members of the Ohio Senate do what the House refused to? Will Kasich lift a finger to change a part of the budget that his office wrote?


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 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

These politicians think reducing infant mortality is “important.”

The representatives marked below think our infant mortality rate is a crisis, but just two weeks ago, they voted to eliminate access to a Medicaid Optional program to provide prenatal care to low-income women in Ohio. Hypocrisy much?

Feel free to call your representative and tell them that you value access to health care for all Ohio women and that they should work to restore full funding for Medicaid Optional programs in the state budget.

FullHouse_InfantMortalityVote1_20150513

ADOPTED — HCR 12 *
INFANT MORTALITY (LaTourette, S., Antonio, N.) To declare Ohio’s rate of infant mortality a public health crisis and urge comprehensive preterm birth risk screening for all pregnant women in Ohio.
VOTE: 93-0


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 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