The Ohio General Assembly is continuing to twist itself around the presidential campaign of Ohio Gov. John Kasich while staying firmly committed to only representing the interests of right-wing extremists, a minority of the state’s population that controls a majority in the state legislature.
I can’t begin to relate how resentful I am that instead of doing the hard work necessary to alleviate poverty, strengthen education, extend health care access, and invest in economic opportunities to make Ohioans’ lives better in the future, our “leaders” are pulling parlor stunts to pander to religious zealots and authoritarian nutbags in their ill-informed, reactionary base.
From the Columbus Dispatch:
“Once again, Republican lawmakers passed a bill stripping Planned Parenthood of $1.3 million in state funding. Once again, the bill is not headed to Gov. John Kasich for his signature.
The Senate passed the measure 22-8 along party lines on Wednesday, marking the second time the chamber has passed essentially the same bill this session. The House has passed a version, too.
The expectation is that someday the controversial defunding bill will make it to Kasich’s desk, and he is expected to sign it. But the House needs to take a final concurrence vote on the legislation, and Wednesday it chose to adjourn rather than wait for the Senate to finish passing the measure.
The House does not return until Feb. 9, which means both Iowa and New Hampshire will vote before Kasich — a presidential candidate — has the chance to sign it.”
You see, political extremism based on debunked videos where the perpetrators of the myth have been the ones indicted, doesn’t exactly jibe with Kasich’s “reasonable guy in the room” schtick.
Because what it would look like if Kasich signed this, to the reasonable folks of New Hampshire and anybody else with a pulse and a casual relationship with reality, is reactionary, dogmatic, unjust political kowtowing at the expense of women everywhere.
Thankfully, Hillary Clinton took the time to take Kasich to task.
“During his time in office, Gov. Kasich has repeatedly attacked reproductive health and rights, signing 16 laws that have made it increasingly difficult for women to access vital reproductive health care and significantly decreased the number of health centers that provide access to safe and legal abortion,” Clinton said. “It’s time for Gov. Kasich to put the health and well-being of his constituents ahead of his own political ambitions and veto this bill to defund Planned Parenthood — a trusted health-care provider and lifeline for thousands of women, men and young people in Ohio.”
Hear, hear! Gov. Kasich and the Ohio legislature need to stop concerning themselves with other people’s genitals. It’s unseemly, and more than that, it’s actively destructive and dangerous. Planned Parenthood provides critical access to full medical advice and coverage many low-income men and women could not obtain anywhere else. Their work is hugely important and that cannot be understated.
Their contraceptive services alone prevent unintended pregnancies by the millions every year. When Monty Python sang that “every sperm is sacred,” John, it was a joke, I assure you.
State Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, decided to weigh in on the matter with some truly offensive prioritization of her personal beliefs over millions of women’s civil rights and access to critical medical care.
“For many Ohioans, (the abortions performed in Ohio are) deeply offensive and strikes at the very core of our beliefs,” she said.
Y’know what, Peg? Don’t have an abortion then. But don’t you dare try to compel everyone else to live under your rules. Stuff your moralizing, authoritarian dictates, the rest of us live in the real world.
Then state Sen. Bill Coley, R-West Chester, came prancing along with some banal, milquetoast reasoning for stripping medical access from women.
(Coley) said the bill would result in medical services being delivered more uniformly across the state. Most Planned Parenthood clinics, he said, are in major metropolitan areas.
“These problems are statewide, and therefore this bill redirects those funds to nearly 300 places across Ohio that provide free or low-cost care to women,” Coley said.
More uniformly across the state? Bull patties, Bill. And as for your 300 places across the state, you fail to mention that the places you want to direct funding toward don’t offer full, comprehensive medical advice, they push a religious agenda that conforms to your belief system. Please to be pissing off, now, Bill.
D.C. DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He is the Associate Editor of The Athens NEWS in Athens, Ohio. DeWitt can be found on Facebook and Twitter @DC_DeWitt.