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Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Ohio Governor John Kasich today signed an agreement that describes in broad terms how their two states will cooperatively build a new bridge over the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Covington. December 12, 2012.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Ohio Gov. John Kasich had line-item veto power over the extremist budget his state's Republican-controlled legislature passed, and he used it—22 times, including to keep moving forward on Medicaid expansion. But Kasich didn't extend his veto to protect reproductive health in the state. The Republican legislature had used the budget as an instrument of anti-reproductive health policy, and the Republican governor went along with that.

It's not just abortion that the Ohio budget attacks, though it certainly does that, with an array of common yet no less offensive and outrageous strategies like requiring women to undergo and pay for medically unnecessary ultrasounds prior to abortion, and requiring abortion providers to have transfer agreements with hospitals, yet banning public hospitals from having transfer agreements with abortion providers. But it goes above beneath and beyond:

  • Rape crisis centers will operate under a state-imposed gag order—rape-crisis counselors will face new restrictions when telling impregnated rape victims that they can legally terminate their pregnancy.
  • The budget effectively defunds Planned Parenthood clinics in the state. [...]
  • And Republican policymakers in the state decided to redefine the words "pregnancy" and "fetus" in state law—the budget decides that a woman is pregnant even before a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterine lining. The effect of this policy may prevent a woman from using an IUD in the state of Ohio.
This is a budget that limits the information rape victims get, makes contraception and a range of important health services more difficult to obtain, especially for low-income women, and potentially outlaws an entire form of contraception. That is extremism. And that is what John Kasich put his signature to, despite exercising his veto power repeatedly on other amendments.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by Abortion, Pro Choice, and Daily Kos.

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