Blog Post

Kasich one step closer to defunding Planned Parenthood

The Ohio House is voting on House Bill 294, which defunds Planned Parenthood. The bill, identical to its companion Senate Bill 214, takes funding used by Planned Parenthood health and education programs and disburses it among potentially hundreds of other providers. No public health care providers or Federally Qualified Health Centers testified that they want to receive this funding or could take on patients turned away from Planned Parenthood. No educators testified that they would replace the comprehensive sex education programs that Planned Parenthood would be blocked from offering.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland:

Gov. Kasich claims to want to improve health care access for Ohioans. However, his support for this bill shows that he cares more about scoring political points with Republican primary voters to bolster his failing presidential campaign. Planned Parenthood is the target, but the ones who are going to get hit with the consequences of this are the people who depend on the services that will be disrupted.

Ohioans that depend on Planned Parenthood for potentially life-saving services like comprehensive sex education, breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV testing and infant mortality prevention programs may have nowhere else to turn. Gov. Kasich should veto this bill when it comes to his desk.

This bill works against goals outlined by Gov. Kasich in multiple State of the State speeches as he advocated for reducing Ohio’s infant mortality rate. This bill stops health care workers from providing services to pregnant women seeking healthy pregnancies. It will also decrease access to critically needed HIV testing as well as breast and cervical cancer screenings.

Anti-choice politicians say they want to reduce the number of abortions in Ohio, however this bill will stop qualified health educators from providing a comprehensive curriculum to teens in foster care and juvenile detention. At-risk youth need education to make smart choices and avoid unintended pregnancies. That is the best way to prevent unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion.

After today’s vote, the Ohio House version, HB 294, moves to the Senate for consideration. The Senate version, SB 214, was passed by that chamber on October 21, 2015. Senate Bill 214 has been assigned to the House committee on Community and Family Advancement.


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

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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Where is the Care, Ohio?

Jaime Miracle from NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, Sam Gresham from Common Cause Ohio, and Sandy Theis from ProgressOhio join with others to decry Ohio’s leaders who care more about limiting heath care options for women than addressing the state’s abysmal infant mortality rate.


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