On Sunday June 30th, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law a state budget that included one of the most restrictive abortion regulations enacted by a state so far. This cheap attack on women’s right to choose was inserted at the last minute, with no debate or public input, and rammed through the Republican controlled legislature. The new law not only redefines pregnancy to include any fertilized egg but also says using birth control pills is an abortion. If Kasich and his Republicans get any votes from women in 2014, I will have to consider moving out of the state. I really hate bigots and I really hate stupid people and any woman who would vote for people who took away their rights would be very stupid.
The new abortion restrictions are worse than the Heartbeat Bill I wrote about before because it defines pregnancy to include any fertilized egg:
In the context of this provision of the Ohio budget, “abortion” no longer means abortion because “pregnancy” no longer means pregnancy. The appropriate way to read each use of the word “abortion” is:
the purposeful termination of [a fertilized egg]… with an intention other than… to remove a dead [fertilized egg].
Any woman who is prescribed hormonal birth control and believes that it blocked the implantation of a fertilized egg can file a civil action. Upon the filing of that civil action, the Ohio medical board will be required to launch an investigation; that investigation will surely be led by Ohio Right to Life, as have the Toledo transfer-agreement investigations.
The results of that investigation will use the word “abortion” to mean “the prescription of hormonal birth control”. The resultant headlines will read “Ohio woman: Doctor tricked me into abortion” and “Ohio medical board investigates illegal abortions at family planning clinic” and “Gosnell in Ohio?”.
Those headlines are the point of the whole thing.
The investigation will be dismissed, but the damage will be done. This is how it has worked in Toledo, under the 2011 budget provision: public pressure from selective leaks and a credulous media has resulted in the isolation of an abortion provider.
The anti-choice crowd know they won’t legally ban abortions but they want to create a toxic environment through negative PR so that there is a de facto ban.
Anyone who believes that birth control pills abort babies should sue their school districts for not educating them properly. But this is the Ohio women will live in until they throw out the douchebags who like to insert themselves into medical decisions and to take away their rights.
That day can’t come soon enough for me.
*Update* The so-called abortion budget is worse for Republicans than I thought:
The new budget, which takes effect on Monday, includes at least five new anti-abortion provisions. HB 59 will defund Planned Parenthood clinics, reallocate family planning funding to right-wing “crisis pregnancy centers,” strip funding from rape crisis centers that give their clients any information about abortion services, impose harsh restrictions on abortion clinics that will force many of them to shut down, and require doctors to give women seeking abortion information about the presence of a “fetal heartbeat.”
Taken together, the budget amendments ensure that Ohio now has some of the most stringent abortion laws in the nation.
In a press release, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards blasted Kasich’s decision to approve HB 59’s abortion-related amendments. “Like Governor Perry in Texas, politicians in Ohio knew they couldn’t pass these unpopular measures if they played by the rules — that’s why they tried to bury these provisions in the pages of a must-pass state budget,” Richards pointed out in a statement, referring to the legislators in Texas who continue attempting to push through abortion restrictions during a special session. “If they thought no one was looking, Ohioans proved they were wrong. Texas lit a fuse.”
According to a recent poll from the Public Policy Polling group, HB 59 isn’t popular with Ohio voters as a whole, either. Fifty two percent of respondents said they didn’t support the budget specifically because it includes attacks on reproductive rights, like defunding Planned Parenthood and shutting down abortion clinics.