On June 30th 2013, while surrounded by a group of men, Governor John Kasich signed Ohio House Bill 59. Because of this bill women have effectively lost the right to low-cost family planning, access to public health service, and most importantly their right to privacy. HB 59 has become one of the nation’s largest attacks on abortion and a women’s right to choose.
In effect, Governor Kasich has placed Planned Parenthood on the bottom of the list for family planning dollars, essentially cutting off $1.4 million dollars. This drastic measure could cause three clinics to have to shut its doors while jeopardizing the essential services Planned Parenthood provides such as: low cost birth control, anemia testing, cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and thyroid screening, cancer screening, HIV testing, STD testing with treatment, vaccines should you have an STD, pregnancy testing, adoption referrals, fertility awareness education, postpartum exams and trained staff to discuss all of a women’s options if she is pregnant including a referral should a woman choose to have an abortion.
In lieu, these funds will be redirected to faith-based crisis pregnancy centers, which of course will not include abortion as an option, while rape crisis clinics become at risk of losing their funding if found counseling a victim about abortion.
Our Governor does not stop there he has also managed to take away a woman’s right to decide if she wants to have a medically unnecessary trans-abdominal ultrasound, so she can hear the fetus’ heartbeat. Not only will women have to pay for this procedure, clinics have lost their transfer agreements with public hospitals putting the clinic and women at risk.
It seems Governor Kasich believes that pregnancies of teen children, single women, rape victims and the homeless should carry their pregnancy to term to then decide whether to give their child up for adoption or keep the child and possibly burden the already overwhelmed foster care system; according to the Ohio Adoption Photolisting Website, “over 11,000 Ohio children are living in foster families of in another out-of-home placement setting.” Not only has Governor Kasich restricted women’s right, but he has also cut the budget for welfare services to help these women support their child.
With the use of 24 pens, Ohio’s Governor set back women’s rights by 40 years! What will he do next to change our rights as women, take our property, money, vote, right to say no? Where does it end if we allow Governor Kasich to change federal laws without letting the citizens’ vote? If I still have the right to vote next year, I will vote against John Kasich.
Two Sisters from Ohio