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· May 13, 2013

Legislation: Ohio House Bill 59 – Biennial Budget

Bill: House Bill 59 (full text, official bill analysis) Title: Biennial Budget Sponsors: Representative Amstutz Co-Sponsors: Representatives Anielski, Baker, Beck, Blair, Boose, Brown, Burkley, Conditt, Dovilla, Grossman, Hackett, Hagan, C., Hayes, Lynch, McClain, McGregor, Pelanda, Rosenberger, Ruhl, Sears, Sprague, Stebelton, Thompson Bill Analysis:  The biennial budget spans the executive branch of Ohio government and thus has policy changes in every agency, many of which directly impact women and children in Ohio.  Policy changes that specifically relate to women’s issues and women’s health include a change the distribution of family planning funds and a change to the transfer language for ambulatory surgical centers. Changes to the distribution of family planning funds prioritizes the distribution of federal funds such as the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, Social Services Block Grant, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Title X Family planning. This re-prioritization would leave organizations such as Planned Parenthood at the bottom of the priority list. Changes to the transfer language for ambulatory surgical centers places current rules into law. These rules require that an ambulatory surgical center, the typical designation for a facility providing abortions, have a written transfer agreement with for “the safe and immediate transfer” of patients to the hospital when necessary. The director of the Ohio Department of Health may grant a waiver. By placing this language in revised code it removes the agency’s discretion to change the rules without legislative approval. Without a transfer agreement facilities that have this designation may no longer be able to operate. Update:  The Senate version of this bill added several concerning amendments. The Senate took the transfer agreement language one step further by adding a provision that would prohibits an ambulatory care clinics from having a written transfer agreement with any public hospital or from entering into a contract with any physician who has privileges at a public hospital.  This would greatly restrict  women’s access to abortions in Ohio. The Senate also added the language from HB 108 to the Budget. This bill, initially intended to create the Rape Crisis Trust Fund and provide additional funding to Rape Crisis Centers, was amended to include language which would prohibit Rape Crisis Centers from referring patients to entities that provide abortions. Final Update:  The final version of the budget included the following provisions:
  • Reprioritize family planning funds, essentially blocking funding for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood serves nearly 100,000 women in Ohio, providing cancer screening, birth control, STD treatment and prevention, pap tests and health information.
  • Prevent funds from going to rape crisis centers that refer women to facilities or medical care providers who also provide abortions. (HB 108, a separate bill with these provisions ,was also voted on by the House and is receiving hearings in the Senate.)
  • Prohibit abortion clinics from entering agreements with public hospitals or with doctors affiliated with public hospitals. These agreements to transfer patients in medical distress are required by State law, so without them many clinics will be forced to close. The closure of an abortion clinic in Toledo that could not obtain a transfer agreement demonstrates how this provision could impact the rest of the state.
  • Requires a physician to inform women in writing of the presence of a fetal heartbeat and the statistical likelihood that her fetus could be carried to term. The Department of Health would draft rules for how a fetal heartbeat can be detected, but those rules may only require an external exam. Civil, disciplinary and criminal penalties are included for doctors who purposefully perform or induce an abortion on a woman without fully meeting the new requirements
Status: Introduced in the House,  Passed the House on 4/18/2013.  Passed in the Senate on June 6, 2013. Signed by the Governor on June 30, 2013. Votes: 
House 4/18/2013
Yeas (Anti-Women): 61
Adams J. Adams R. Amstutz Anielski
Baker Barnes Beck Becker
Blair Blessing Boose Brenner
Brown Buchy Burkley Butler
Conditt Damschroder DeVitis Derickson
Dovilla Duffey Gonzales Green
Grossman Hackett Hagan, C. Hall
Hayes Henne Hill Hottinger
Huffman Johnson Kunze Landis
Lynch Maag McClain McGregor
Milkovich Patmon Pelanda Perales
Retherford Roegner Romanchuk Rosenberger
Ruhl Scherer Schuring Sears
Slaby Smith Sprague Stautberg
Stebleton Thompson Wachtmann  Young
Nays (Pro-Women): 35
Antonio Ashford Barborak Bishoff
Boyce Budish Carney Celebrezze
Cera Clyde Curtin Driehaus
Fedor Foley Gerberry Hagan, R.
Heard Hood Letson Lundy
Mallory O’Brien Patterson Phillips
Murray O’Brien Okey Patmon
Pillich Ramos Redfern Reece
Rogers Slesnick Stinziano Strahorn
Szollosi Williams Winburn
Senate  6/6/2013
Yeas (Anti-Women): 23
Bacon Balderson Beagle Burke
Coley Eklund Gardner Hite
Hughes Jones Jordan LaRose
Lehner Manning Obhof Oelslager
Patton Peterson Schaffer Seitz
Uecker Widener Faber
Nays (Pro-Women): 10
Brown Cafaro Gentile Kearney
Sawyer Schiavoni Skindell Smith
Taveres Turner

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