By Kellie Copeland
Why did John Kasich hide his agenda against women? Why didn’t he claim his role in crafting targeted regulations on abortion providers? He even tries to distance himself after the Associated Press has exposed email exchanges between his staff, legislative staff, and Ohio Right to Life.
Discovering the evidence of Kasich’s legislative actions is like finding a cockroach in the kitchen — where there is one, there are surely more.
Passing new laws was just the beginning for John. He also sat Ohio Right to Life president Mike Gondiakis on the state medical board, and tasked political appointee Richard Hodges with the job of using the Department of Health to harass abortion providers. Today, we see one-third of abortion providers at risk of losing their license because of bureaucratic red tape. Hodges replaced Dr. Ted Wymslo because of pressure from Gonidakis. Gonidakis met with Kasich the day before Dr. Wymslo’s resignation.
Why did Kasich hide his role? Because he didn’t want us to realize how many cockroaches he has running his kitchen.
Ohio is a pro-choice state that delivered solid victories to President Obama and Senator Brown, our most outspoken champions for women. Kasich didn’t want to raise the ire of voters before his 2014 reelection campaign.
With gerrymandered anti-choice super majorities in the legislature, Kasich and company can now more safely assume the political risks that come with being publicly responsible. They are brazenly working on new efforts to stop women from accessing critical health care.
Senate President Keith Faber’s legislation to defund Planned Parenthood blocks funding for cancer screenings and HIV tests. It will not stop abortions. The two abortion restrictions that are in play both directly target women facing medical complications — one stops women from terminating a failing pregnancy suffering from medical complications after 20 weeks, the other ties the hands of doctors helping women following a positive prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
If Kasich finds himself struggling with conservative voters in Iowa or New Hampshire, he simply needs to snap his fingers, and one of these three proposals will be passed to his desk for a signature, to send a signal of his core beliefs.
All along, Kasich has wanted to impose his morals on others without having to pay the political price. He has hidden his involvement as he thought ahead to position himself as a moderate for 2016. This way, he can wait to see how his restrictions play out and then decide how much credit to claim. If his ideas don’t poll well, he will claim his administration merely enforces the laws.
Please don’t disturb the cockroaches in his kitchen. They’re still trying to cook.
Kellie Copeland is Executive Director at NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
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