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

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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

Blog Post

UPDATE – Infant Mortality funding fix in Ohio budget

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NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio first started sounding the alarm on the budget in February. The first version of the budget written by the Kasich administration created a coverage gap for low-income women. If they were between 138% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, they would lose access to three Medicaid Optional programs: a breast & cervical cancer treatment program, a family planning program, and… wait for it… a program TO REDUCE INFANT MORTALITY. Reducing infant mortality is John Kasich’s favorite topic to talk about and then neglect.

BIG NEWS: The coverage gap is closing! According to Statehouse news bureau Gongwer:

Despite initially introducing budget language that would end Medicaid eligibility for higher income pregnant women, the Kasich Administration is working to ensure such coverage remains intact. Office of Health Transformation Director Greg Moody said providing the health care entitlement to pregnant women above 138% of the federal poverty level tops the list of things his agency would like to see resolved as lawmakers finalize the Fiscal Years 2016-2017 spending bill (HB 64*). …

The executive budget proposed eliminating a requirement that the Medicaid program set the income eligibility threshold for pregnant women at 200% FPL – above the 138% FPL coverage threshold established for low-income adults under Medicaid expansion. The House included the administration’s policy in its version of the budget.

This victory is a great win for Ohio women, thanks to the Pro-Choice champions who advocated for the fix. In addition to testimony from NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio’s Deputy Director Jaime Miracle, we saw intense questioning of the Medicaid Director in committee. Rep. Nicki Antonio, Rep. Kathleen Clyde, and Rep. Emilia Sykes all peppered Office of Health Transformation Director Greg Moody with questions. Rep. Sykes followed up the pressure on the Ohio House floor during the budget debate. (VIDEO) This weekend, Rep. Dan Ramos advocated for the fix in the Morning Journal.

Shockingly — GASP! — Ohio Right to Life has not spoken up restore health care coverage to help pregnant women have healthy pregnancies.

There’s still room for improvement. The Medicaid Optional programs for family planning and the breast & cervical cancer treatment program are still unavailable to women in the coverage gap. The budget must be signed by June 30. Will progress continue? Stay tuned.


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

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