Last night Governor Kasich signed HB 59, the Ohio Budget, into law. He had 22 vetos but chose not to veto a single provision restricting women’s access to healthcare and abortion. This is despite 15,000 phone calls and 17,000 petitions from concerned citizens and 16 editorials opposed to these policies.
This means that abortion clinics will no longer be able to have transfer agreements with public hospitals, Planned Parenthood and family planning clinics will be at the bottom of the list for state funding, rape crisis centers will not be able to refer patients to medical care or facilities that also provide abortions, and doctors will have to carry out an exam to check for a fetal heartbeat and inform the woman in writing of the presence of a heartbeat. Governor Kasich approved all this without taking a single question from the press and left Ohio with some of the most stringent abortion laws in the nation.
This is coupled with policies that continue cuts to education and decrease taxes for the rich, while delivering a slight increase in taxes for the poor. Local governments, which deliver important services such as police and fire protection, will also see a cut.
As the Cleveland Plain Dealer said, “No one involved in writing Ohio’s new budget should take pride in the finished product.”