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Some Ohio physicians say the state's new abortion restrictions are hindering their ability to adequately advise and treat pregnant women, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Even some physicians who oppose abortion told reporters Catherine Candisky and Jim Siegel that they feel they need to talk to a lawyer before giving advice.

Just one more example of politicians interfering in what ought to be a matter between a woman, her physician and whoever else she wants, on her own volition, to include in making decisions about her pregnancy. This isn't just undesirable theological meddling with women's reproductive rights. It's a serious health risk.

The good news is that pro-choice Democrats won't be laying low on the matter this year since gubernatorial candidate Ed Fitzgerald picked as his running mate for lieutenant governor Sharen Neuhardt, whose progressive credentials include being an abortion rights advocate. Fitzgerald also held the first public gathering of all Democrats for statewide office at Planned Parenthood offices. Neuhardt sits on the organization's state board. Ohio made Planned Parenthood the lowest state budget priority for family planning last year, effectively cutting it off from $1.4 million in federal funding.

That was the least draconian of the five new abortion restrictions Gov. John Kasich signed in June. The others will cut off funding for any rape crisis center caught counseling victims of sexual assault about abortion, requires women seeking abortions to undergo transabdominal ultrasounds to detect fetal heartbeat, forbids abortions after 20 weeks of gestation unless a doctor determines that the fetus is not viable and bans patient transfers from abortion clinics to public hospitals if something goes awry during the procedure or afterward. A private hospital would have to be found instead.

It's the determination of viability that has physicians most worried:

“Doctors can’t give their best advice in some situations because of possible repercussions of the law,” Dr. Phil Cass, chief executive officer of the Columbus Medical Association, said of the late-term ban. [...]

Cass said there are instances in which a fetus isn’t viable and testing might not indicate the problem until a woman is more than halfway through her pregnancy and beyond the point she can legally terminate under the new law. As a result, a woman must carry a nonviable fetus to term at risk to her own health, both physical and emotional.

The law, doctors argue, fails to distinguish between a woman who wants an abortion and one who should terminate for medical reasons.

Opposition to that law and other anti-abortion measures in the state might redound in favor of Democratic candidates like Neuhardt. But Ohio GOP spokesman Chris Schrimpf says the state's citizens want there to be restrictions on abortions and not “taxpayer-funded abortions on demand.” That last claim is disingenuous BS typical of much forced-birther propaganda. The issue of tax-paid abortions "on demand" has long been settled in Ohio. It follows the federal Hyde Amendment that allows states to opt out of Medicaid abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk. But then lying has never been something the anti-abortion crowd has avoided in their efforts to maintain control over women's sexuality and personal health decisions.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 01:19 PM PST.

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

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