Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed legislation in 2013 that has undermined reproductive health care for women in the state.
Abortion opponents have been laboring for years to reduce the number of abortions in this country by simply reducing the facilities where they are available. Now new data out of Ohio suggests that they are succeeding, effectively choking off access to abortions state by state. Tara Culp-Ressler
According to records obtained by the Associated Press, the number of abortion providers in the Buckeye State has shrunk by half over the past four years. There were 16 providers in the state in 2011; since then, seven clinics have reduced their services or closed their doors altogether. An eighth clinic — the only abortion provider left in Toledo — is fighting to stay open, but remains at the mercy of court proceedings...
In 2013, Ohio pushed through a package of stringent abortion restrictions by attaching them to an unrelated budget bill. At the time, the anti-abortion groups in the state celebrated the passage of the legislation as “historic.” Among other things, that law includes a provision requiring abortion doctors to enter into unnecessary partnerships with local hospitals — an increasingly popular legislative strategy known as the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, or TRAP — that’s making it difficult for providers to stay in business.
That anti-abortion package, signed into law by Gov. John Kasich
, who is weighing a presidential run, also included a measure forcing women to get an ultrasound before terminating their pregnancy. It prohibited rape crisis clinics from providing abortion counseling to victims. And then there was this beauty.
If a woman is able to obtain an abortion in Ohio and develops some sort of medical issue during the procedure, clinics will no longer be allowed to transfer these patients to public hospitals for additional care. In the midst of a crisis, these patients must find a private hospital to help them.
Despite protests at the Ohio Statehouse last week, the new anti-abortion measures were approved when the governor failed to veto them. Kasich did manage to veto 22 other line-item measures.
Kasich's war against providing women with a full range of healthcare options will not be forgotten at the ballot box. Should he manage to win the GOP nomination, the governor's attack on women in his home state will become a central issue in the campaign.