The Associated Press reports that Ohio state attorneys asked the state supreme court on Tuesday to override lower court rulings and uphold the state Health Department’s order to shut down Toledo’s last abortion clinic.
At the end of the AP article it reads, “Restrictions on abortion clinics in Ohio passed by lawmakers over the last six years have contributed to the closings of several clinics already. The state has 8 clinics left operating. It had twice that many in 2011.”
The legislature can pass all the laws it wants, but if the governor doesn’t sign them, they generally don’t become law. And who’s been governor since 2010, and who’s signed all those “restrictions on abortion clinics” into law if it wasn’t Ohio’s 69th, term-limited, lame-duck leader, John Richard Kasich, the boy from Pennsylvania who was so raptured by the Catholic church as a boy that he thought of becoming a priest? That is, until he learned politics could bring him fame and fortune, as his four decades in the public eye, most of it spent in elected public office, has done in spades.
The case before the court involves one of several restrictions Ohio Republican lawmakers, with the help of a hard-right Republican governor Kasich, placed on abortion clinics in recent years. The Ohio Department of Health, whose leader is hand-picked by Kasich and follows the leader, issued an order in 2014 to close Capital Care of Toledo because the clinic didn’t have a patient-transfer agreement with a local hospital.
These unreasonable and harsh agreements are mandates by Ohio’s GOP lawmakers passed in 2013 with executive branch help from Kasich. What these agreements do is bar public hospitals from providing clinics services should a medical emergency arise. In the case of Capital Care, The University of Toledo Hospital withdrew from its transfer arrangement with the clinic after the law passed with Kasich’s signature went into effect.
The clinic sued and won in the lower courts, which ruled the restrictions were unconstitutional, the AP reported, noting that judges are permitting the clinic to continue operating until litigation is over.
Abortion-rights groups note that Toledo, a city of 275,000 residents, would be the first major city in Ohio without access to abortion services if the clinic closes. That state up north, you know, Michigan, is where abortion seekers from Ohio would have to travel to if Toledo becomes another abortion provider ghost town.
When Kasich doesn’t become the leader of the free world as the leader of a new party that might take on Donald Trump in 2020, should the New York billionaire and inveterate liar not have already been dispatched by impeachment proceedings or because his conscious finally woke up and told him to resign before he does any more damage, maybe it will be because media finally decides to show some spine and connect the dots of Kasich’s past in ways they’ve failed to do so far.
Whether its closing abortion clinics, which makes Ohio all that much less appealing to any business of any size with any women working for it, or setting state energy policy back years as he did, or creating the state’s terribly gerrymandered districts before decrying them, Kasich has his finger prints all over signed bills that have put the Buckeye State in retrograde motion as just happened to the plant Mercury.