Target: Governor of Ohio John Kasich
Goal: Protect a woman’s right to choose
Last week, Republican-controlled Senate in Ohio passed a budget with anti-abortion measures. It defunds Planned Parenthood and redirects some federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds to crisis pregnancy centers that advocate against abortions. An amendment to the budget also prohibits abortion clinics from establishing transfer agreements with public hospitals. It is difficult to sign such agreements with private hospitals because they are often religious institutions opposed to abortions. Another bill that was introduced in the House last week further limits the ability of a woman to choose whether to carry her pregnancy to term. Governor Kasich has the power to line veto parts of the bill that he does not agree with. He should stop these attacks on women in Ohio.
House Bill 200 has a long list of restrictions both on women who seek abortion care and the doctors who provide it to them. The bill mandates ultrasounds before an abortion is performed. Women would have to pay for them, and the doctors would be required to describe the ultrasound and play the sounds detected by a fetal heart monitor. The good news is that the woman does not have to look at the images or listen to the heartbeat. But doctors would have to tell women that if they get an abortion, they would have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, and also that fetuses and embryos can feel pain. Both claims are a lie, debunked by healthcare providers.
HB 200 would also change the waiting period for abortions to 48 hours instead of current 24. A woman would be able to get an abortion right away only if her life is in danger. Doctors would be compelled to disclose their incomes and how much money they would lose by not performing abortions. If doctors fail to completely follow any of the rules they could be charged with a first-degree felony and fined up to $1 million.
Ultimately, these rules and regulations are so burdensome that some abortion providers might decide to stop the practice altogether. Then again, maybe that is the point of these legislative attempts. Urge Governor Kasich to stand up for women in his state and oppose such restrictions on their healthcare.
Dear Mr. Kasich,
The Ohio Senate recently passed a budget with anti-abortion provisions, and last week, a new bill restricting a woman’s right to choose was introduced in the House. Such initiatives only do harm to women who are seeking healthcare services guaranteed by the Constitution. These harmful proposals should be stopped.
The budget defunds Planned Parenthood and redirects some federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds to crisis pregnancy centers that provide inaccurate information about abortions. An amendment also prohibits transfer agreements between abortion clinics and public hospitals. It could be problematic to establish such agreements with private hospitals because they are often religious institutions opposed to abortion.
House Bill 200 has an even longer list of restrictions. It increases the waiting period for abortions from 24 to 48 hours and only makes an exception for women whose life is in danger. It requires doctors to lie to their patients that abortion is linked to breast cancer and that fetuses and embryos can feel pain. The healthcare community has widely debunked both claims.
It is essential that women have a healthcare provider to turn to in the time of need. They should not feel ashamed or pay for the ultrasound that is not medically required. They should not be forced to listen to fetal heartbeat and look at images of an invasive ultrasound. The state should leave the decision of whether to carry pregnancy to term to women. Doctors should not be ashamed for providing quality healthcare or be pressured to disclose how much money they would lose if they stopped providing abortions. Please line veto anti-abortion provisions from the budget bill and tell House leaders that you do not support HB 200.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Harry_nl via Flickr