While all eyes were on Texas something really awful was happening in Ohio. Gov. John Kasich signed into law the state’s new $62 billion budget that just happened to sneak in a couple of rules. Rules about women, their choices, their health, and their safety. He just neglected to bring that to the table because…well…because he is a spineless little worm.
Under this new budget comes the following rules: women are required to undergo a trans-abdominal ultrasound before receiving an abortion, regardless of whether or not the ultrasound is medically necessary. The budget also severely guts Planned Parenthood clinics in the state by cutting off $1.4 million in federal funding, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Rape crisis centers will now have “restrictions on what they can say to victims” and if they counsel victims on abortion options their funding can be suspended. If a clinic provides abortion services they will be required to obtain transfer agreements with local hospitals but, the budget bans public hospitals from establishing these agreements. I guess they figure—if you get an abortion and something goes wrong—you deserve to die due to no medical treatment. Just like if you were in a third world country, because lets face it—for women—America is a third world country.
One of two abortion providers in Toledo, Ohio, was forced to close it’s doors do to all the new restrictions. One of two. If the clinics stand this bullying and pressure and manage to stay open, physicians will be legally bound to provide materials informing women seeking abortions of the fetus’ “probable anatomical and physiological characteristics” during various stages of development. Doctors must also give women additional information on family planning alternatives if a heartbeat can be detected. Normally, when you get an abortion they tell you to download a packet and have it in your possession for 24 hours. At least, that’s how it was in the state of MI—but no one asked to see a packet, and no one made anyone look at it.
Here’s another gem from the budget. A “fetus” is defined as the “human offspring developing during pregnancy from the moment of conception,” meaning before the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. This language could be used to make illegal certain forms of contraception, like an IUD, in the state of Ohio. Yup, now you really don’t have a choice. Stephanie Kight, president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, in a statement called the provisions “an orchestrated effort to roll back women’s rights and access to health care. The budget is only the latest in a series of restrictive laws signed by John Kasich that have hurt the women in our state who need more access to health care, not less.” This is infuriating. This should never have happened. This is dangerous to women. This is happening in 2013 in our country and are we really going to sit back and take it? These men think they’re saving a child when all they’re really doing is destroying women. But we just sit back and take it, like a good little girl.