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

2, Blog Post

Parents speak out against the Down syndrome abortion ban bill

Parents are speaking out following the report on the Down syndrome abortion ban bill in the New York Times. Four parents of children with Down syndrome have come forward to oppose Ohio’s House Bill 135. Read their stories and contact Ohio Gov. John Kasich and demand he stop legislation that attacks abortion rights by politicizing the lives of Ohio women and their families.

In reading about HB 135, I was very upset to see that the legislatures in Ohio are using people with DS to chip away at the abortion issue. I have a 3 year old son with DS and we knew early on about our sons condition. We had a choice and we decided to keep our son. This was a very tough decision for my wife and me, but I am glad we had such a choice. This enabled us to truly embrace what was coming our way versus feeling that this was being forced upon us by some unknown legislatures.

Today, I feel rather blessed that my son has DS. He has truly been a blessing to our family. I only hope that I can teach him as much as he has already taught me in just 3 years. We should all spend time with people who have DS, they have a lot to teach the world if we would only take the time to listen.

If our legislatures truly care about the people with DS, then I would love to see them take this opportunity to create a more inclusive community for people with such development issues, not use people like my son to politicize an issue.

Children with DS are sometimes born with severe heart conditions, hearing problems, eye sight concerns and many other medical issues that need financial assistance. My child attends an early childhood development school, which cost over $12,000 per year. Over 50% of the students within my sons school need some type of financial aid. It has now been proven that by working with children with DS from 18 months to 6 years old that they can mainstream into a more traditional learning environment and become productive members of the community.

If you really care about the DS community let’s go beyond just the recently passed ABLE act and truly provide financial aid for early childhood development and supplemental insurance to cover all of the un-usual medical needs that arise with having an extra chromosome.  Whatever you do – please stop using my son to politicize your own agenda.

Barry Rosenberg, Texas
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio

If I Knew My Daughter Had Down Syndrome, I Would Have Aborted Her – All Women Should Have That Right

Excerpts: This is an issue that hits close to home for me: If I had had a prenatal diagnosis, I would have obtained an abortion. Today, I am beyond grateful that I didn’t. But I cannot ever in any circumstances imagine insisting others not have that right. …

At night, when Johanna’s asleep, I slip into her room and watch her, her blonde hair spilling over her pillow, her hands clutching her Barbies in a death grip. She yawns and curls up in a fetal position, slightly snoring, and I am filled with a surge of love for her that makes me realize that yes, I will do anything to help her thrive and succeed.

I will tell you what won’t help her, though: Legislation forcing women to go through with unwanted pregnancies in the misguided belief that it will advance her life, or the quality of life of other people with Down syndrome.

Hallie Levine

Don’t politicize my son over Down syndrome

Excerpts: I’m the father of a boy with Down syndrome. I spend much of my life trying to make the world a better place for him. In doing so, I find common cause with liberals and conservatives from around the country, as we focus on issues like education, employment, and fighting stigma. …

Here’s the most frustrating thing for me: There is so much to complain about regarding our prenatal testing regime, the way we talk about Down syndrome, stigma against all kinds of people with disabilities, the lack of educational and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and more. There’s lots of work to do. The best way to get people to choose to carry a fetus with Down syndrome to term is to make the words “Down syndrome” less scary. That’s hard. It’s not politically useful. So instead, we’ve got bills like HB 131 in Ohio.

David Perry, Illinois

Someone is Missing From the Debate on Ohio’s Bill to Ban Down Syndrome Abortions

Excerpts: I do not support this kind of legislation –even though our son has Down syndrome. I am pro-choice which means I support whatever reasons a woman chooses for having an abortion.

I do however want more people like my son in the world which bucks the prevalent trend to want fewer people like him.

Am I comfortable with the fact that 60 – 90% of women chose to abort a fetus found to have Down syndrome? No, I’m not. In fact, It angers me. That anger however is not directed at the woman having the abortion. It is at our medical community in its supreme ignorance insisting on relaying antiquated information about Down syndrome to women at what is likely the most vulnerable time in their life.

I place blame as well on our insistence that disability be seen as a profound disadvantage in a society that places an inordinate emphasis on normal. The greatest disability our son faces is what people think of him not his Down syndrome.

Kari Wagner-Peck, Maine


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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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

**UPDATED** The Toledo Blade is ON IT.

UPDATE — The Blade published one last editorial before the budget is signed tomorrow. Scroll down for the latest.

We’ve never seen a newspaper rush to the defense of abortion rights in a community like the Toledo Blade has this month. Always outspoken, the Blade’s editorial board has watched and reacted with every assault on rights in Toledo. Northeast Ohio is a hotspot for anti-abortion activity. Before the transfer agreement restrictions were added to the 2013 budget, Ohio Right to Life and Rep. Lynn Wachtmann strong-armed the University of Toledo Medical Center to drop their transfer agreement with Capital Care. That story happened in the Blade’s backyard and they’ve maintained a constant vigil ever since.

We’ve seen frontline reporting and five — FIVE! — editorials in the last two weeks. Click on each link below to read more. We’ll update this post as needed.


Editorial: Assault on rights
6/8/15

Of all the outrageous attacks on women’s health-care choices that Ohio’s anti-abortion movement has advanced in recent years, its latest proposal — a bill that would outlaw abortion after a fetus is diagnosed with Down’s syndrome — is one of the most invasive and extreme yet. …

Leaders of Ohio Right to Life, one of the chief architects of the bill, frame it as a discrimination issue. This disingenuous justification masks the real goal of the anti-abortion movement: to claw back women’s right to choose.

Editorial: Exporting abortion
6/10/15

Because state laws also prohibit Medicaid and plans in the Ohio health insurance exchange from covering abortions, most women have to pay hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for an abortion out-of-pocket. That has significantly restricted the availability of medication abortion in Ohio, one of the safest and most affordable early-term abortion methods. Consequently, many Ohio women now come to Michigan seeking medication abortion. Ohio is one of just three states to approve such a Draconian law. …

The best solution, for pro and anti-choice Ohioans alike, is to reduce the need for abortions. That starts with making it easier — not more difficult — for women to control their reproductive health.

Editorial: Restore abortion rights
6/14/15

Abortion opponents hope to force another Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights. Indeed, it’s time for the court to step in. If the constitutional right to personal freedom means anything, it should mean the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body. The high court must clarify that now, and strike down invasive abortion laws in Ohio and elsewhere.

Report: Late provision may end Toledo’s abortion clinic
6/18/15

Capital Care Network, Toledo’s only remaining abortion clinic, which has been fighting to remain open, may have received the final blow from the Ohio legislature on Wednesday. In a last-minute move, a provision was added to the $71.3 billion, two-year budget bill that is a direct reaction to a current court fight over the state’s attempt to shut down Capital Care.

Report: Toledo clinic to remain open
6/20/15

Finding that the state had “exceeded its constitutional authority,” a Lucas County judge ruled Friday that Toledo’s only remaining abortion clinic may keep its doors open. Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart found that Capital Care Network may continue to operate its West Toledo clinic, concluding that Ohio’s law requiring abortion clinics to have transfer agreements with “local” hospitals was unconstitutional.

Editorial: Outlawing abortion
6/22/15

The Senate added these rules to the budget without debate or public input, because lawmakers know most Ohioans don’t support such Draconian restrictions on abortion. The reckless provisions could invite the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Ohio’s and other states’ unconstitutional abortion restrictions. The high court ruled in Roe vs. Wade in 1973 that women have a constitutional right to end an unwanted pregnancy, but extremist lawmakers in Ohio and across the country have ignored that decision. Many women must travel long distances, and cross state borders, to exercise their constitutional rights. If lawmakers want to open a debate about abortion laws, they ought to do so honestly, not by inserting 11th-hour amendments and hoping Ohioans won’t notice. Their dead-of-night efforts to shut down abortion access must end.

Editorial: Rights relief
6/23/15

The Kasich administration sought to shutter Capital Care Network under a 2013 law that requires abortion clinics to get so-called transfer agreements with local hospitals to handle emergencies. Capital Care Network has such an agreement with the University of Michigan Health System, 50 miles away, which the state argued is not local enough. Medical and legal authorities say there is no need for such a law, because abortion is among the safest medical procedures and hospitals already are required by federal law to admit patients in emergency cases. But neither science nor the Constitution is likely to deter state government’s anti-abortion agenda. Judge Duhart’s decision comes amid increased efforts by lawmakers and the administration to legislate abortion out of existence.

Editorial: Stop abortion extremism
6/28/15

As they did two years ago, Ohio lawmakers want to use the new state budget to trample on women’s constitutional right to safe, legal abortion. If their medically unsupported anti-abortion provisions become law, they almost certainly would shut down the only clinic that performs abortions in Toledo. Gov. John Kasich must use his line-item veto to reject these extreme measures.


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, Video

Tell Kasich: Stop this attack on healthcare access.

TAKE ACTION

Dear Gov. John Kasich,

Remove the extreme attacks on abortion providers from the state budget immediately.

Abortion is a legal right. The Senate changes to the bill will make it impossible for abortion providers to serve women seeking a safe and legal procedure. This unconstitutional attack cannot remain in the budget.

The decision on whether to have a child, choose adoption, or have an abortion must be left to a woman, with the counsel of her faith, family, and chosen medical provider. There is no room for political interference in her decision.

Stop this attack on healthcare access.

Sincerely,

[Your name & address here]


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

New attacks on abortion providers in Ohio budget

LegislativeLeaders2The Ohio Senate has added language to the state budget that would shutter abortion clinics in Ohio. They’re making it impossible for abortion providers to get unnecessary bureaucratic approvals and documents that DO NOT improve patient care.

Email your Ohio state senator immediately to demand this language be removed.

This vicious cycle was created by the 2013 state budget. It works like this:

  1. The abortion provider is forced by the state to get a medically unnecessary transfer agreement, but they can’t get it from a public hospital.
  2. The private hospitals all deny requests for transfer agreements because the hospital owners are anti-choice.
  3. The state closes the abortion provider because they couldn’t get a transfer agreement.

The 2015 state budget was changed to make the rules even harder for abortion providers. It will now be impossible for abortion providers to stay open in Dayton and Toledo, with other cities at risk as well.


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