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.