Over the last year, Governor John Kasich has worked hard to maintain his title of “moderate”, becoming a talking head on cable news, writing his book on just how divided he thinks America has become, and even toying with the idea of a 2020 presidential run with a Democrat. However, as 2017 closes, Kasich has revealed his true conservative colors by again signing a bill infringing on women’s reproductive health.
His most recent attack on a women’s right to choose came on Dec. 22 when Kasich signed HB 214, a bill that will prohibit women from seeking an abortion following a diagnosis of Down syndrome. However, that’s not where the bill stops. This new law will also thump physicians with felony criminal charges if they perform the procedure following the diagnosis.
Kasich’s actions on this bill should be no surprise. In a 2015 CNN interview with Jake Tapper, Kasich was asked whether he would sign a bill that banned the abortion of a fetus with Down syndrome. “I would sign it, yes,” Kasich replied. “Look, I’m a governor. I’m a CEO. I have to have a hand steady on the wheel. But in this case, I’m more than glad to say that of course I would sign that.”
“A hand steady on the wheel” is what Kasich and Ohio’s Republican-controlled State House and Senate have held with their continuous attack on the reproductive rights of women. But it seems they’re driving on a road to nowhere since a majority of Ohio is in favor of keeping abortion legal in all or most cases.
These bans are not where Ohio lawmakers draw the line when meddling in women’s health. They also steadily feed more state funds into crisis pregnancy centers that are shown to intimidate and misinform on the choices women have when facing pregnancy. Instead of fighting this fraud, Kasich and crew have decided to drain Planned Parenthood in Ohio of state funds they receive for their many services.
Kasich and his team of conservatives in the Ohio House and Senate are consistently going against the will of their constituents when creating and signing these harmful bills. This recent action by Kasich is his 20th attack on reproductive health access since taking office in 2011.
Kasich has spent seven years fixated on dictating what women can do with their bodies and when those choices can be made. This recent action certainly won’t be his last. There are currently two other abortion bans pending; one being the six-week ban and the other being “the method ban” that would make accessing abortion as early as 13 weeks into pregnancy illegal.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio has compiled this complete list of the 20 harmful actions towards women supported by Kasich:
- Prohibiting the use of political subdivision funds to pay the costs of a health care policy that provides coverage, benefits, or services related to nontherapeutic abortion. (HB 153 – 129th Ohio General Assembly)
- Banned public hospitals from providing abortion care (HB 153 – 129th Ohio General Assembly)
- Later term ban that prohibited abortions at 24 weeks and required a non-existent “viability test” at 20 weeks. (HB 78 – 129th Ohio General Assembly)
- Judicial bypass restrictions (HB 63 – 129th Ohio General Assembly)
- Ban on abortion coverage of elective abortion in the Affordable Care Act marketplace for Ohio (HB 79 – 129th Ohio General Assembly)
- Created the program to fund crisis pregnancy centers (HB 59 – 130th Ohio General Assembly)
- Required that ultrasounds be performed to look for fetal heartbeat before an abortion (HB 59 – 130th Ohio General Assembly)
- Required biased counseling to be given before an abortion, including information about the fetal heartbeat detection and medically ambiguous information (HB 59 – 130th Ohio General Assembly)
- Required all ambulatory surgical facilities to have a completely unnecessary “transfer agreement” with a local hospital (HB 59 – 130th Ohio General Assembly)
- Banned public hospitals from entering into a transfer agreement with an ambulatory surgical facility that performs abortions (HB 59 – 130th Ohio General Assembly)
- Defunded Planned Parenthood (for the first time) by “reprioritizing” family planning funding in a way to put Planned Parenthood and other stand-alone family planning specialists at the end of the line for funding (HB 59- 130th Ohio General Assembly)
- Banned rape crisis centers from funding if they counsel rape survivors about abortion (HB 59 – 130th Ohio General Assembly)
- Defunded Planned Parenthood (for the second time) by prohibiting entities that perform or promote abortion, or anyone who associates with an entity who performs or promotes abortion from receiving certain funding through the Ohio Department of health (HB 294 – 131st Ohio General Assembly)
- $1,000,000 for crisis pregnancy centers (through program established in the 130thOhio General Assembly) (HB 64 – 131st Ohio General Assembly)
- Eliminated optional Medicaid program covering family planning services for individuals up to 200% of the federal poverty line (HB 64 – 131st Ohio General Assembly)
- Requirement that Ohio Department of Health has to rule on a variance application from an ambulatory surgical facility within 60 days or the application is automatically denied (HB 64 – 131st Ohio General Assembly)
- Require that an ambulatory surgical facilities’ transfer agreement be with a hospital within 30 miles of the facility (HB 64 – 131st Ohio General Assembly)
- 20-week abortion ban (SB 127 – 131st Ohio General Assembly)
- Renewal of $1,000,000 allocation to crisis pregnancy centers (HB 49 – 132nd Ohio General Assembly))
- Down syndrome abortion ban (HB 214 – 132nd Ohio General Assembly)