Last weekend, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law our, (I'm a resident of Ohio), new budget. Contained within the new budget were aggressive new regulations concerning women's reproductive rights. These regulations are severe. How severe?
Cue the Maddow Blog from yesterday:
* 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.
* There's a provision to require women seeking legal abortions to undergo a state-mandated, medically-unnecessary ultrasound -- even if women don't want one, and if their doctor doesn't recommend one. Ohio Republicans proudly declared they want to put themselves between patients and their physicians, prescribing specific procedures for no medical reason.
* Women will also be required to pay for state-mandated, medically-unnecessary ultrasounds they do not want and their doctors do not think they need.
* Physicians will be legally required to deliver a Republican-written speech to women seeking legal abortions. Whether the doctor believes what's in the script, or even wants to say those words to his or her patient, has been deemed irrelevant.
* Clinics that provide abortion services will be required to have transfer agreements with local hospitals, and then bans public hospitals from establishing those agreements, all in the hopes of shutting the clinics down.
* 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.As indicated in the Dayton Daily News link, Gov. Kasich possesses "line item veto" power, meaning that he can get rid of any particular section he wishes to. He used the veto on 22 different things, including rejecting new nursing home funding and more money for the aerospace industry. But not those sections that applied to women's reproductive rights.
The sections that pertain to women's rights were not debated in anyway. No hearings were held regarding them. They were added at virtually the last moment to the overall budget bill. Its stunning to me that our Governor would impose upon the women of Ohio such invasive regulations. State mandated medical procedures against the wishes of both patient and doctors? Incredible.
The Governor has strong feelings about the patient doctor relationship. He said so right on his campaign's website back on October 31, 2010.
Governor Kasich's words:
"Today I signed The Ohio Project’s initiative petition to amend Ohio’s Constitution and preserve Ohioans’ freedom to make their own decisions about health care.
Obamacare must be blocked. We cannot tolerate a government takeover of our health care system and we cannot afford a health care system that creates a massive bureaucracy that raises taxes and punishes small businesses that are already struggling to create jobs.
I believe Ohioans deserve the best health care possible, but Obamacare doesn’t do it. Reform is needed, but it should lower costs, not raise them, and it should keep bureaucrats out of the private relationship between doctors and patients and end the frivolous lawsuits that drive up costs.
Ohioans deserve a solution to health care that doesn’t bring more big government but which preserves their freedom to make their own decisions about their health care. I look forward to working with you to bring about that change."
Nothing else needs said, does it?