Popular wisdom says that Gov. John Kasich is the moderate GOP candidate. Maybe by comparison he seems that way, but that’s only because he’s being held up next to a racist windbag, a rabid fundie and an ineffectual guy who’s a bit of both. Kasich is not a moderate, though, and what he did on Sunday pays proof to that.
The bill Kasich signed forbids the state from doing business with any healthcare entity that “promotes or performs non-therapeutic abortions.” It does include exceptions for rape, incest and a threat to the health of the mother. The end game of the bill is, of course, to defund Planned Parenthood in Ohio. Which is what Kasich has promised to do nationwide if he were elected president.
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of American and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, had sharp words for Kasich:
This legislation will have devastating consequences for women across Ohio. John Kasich is proudly eliminating care for expectant mothers and newborns; leaving thousands without vital STD and HIV testing, slashing a program to fight domestic violence, and cutting access to essential, basic health care.
Planned Parenthood clinics, as most intelligent people know, offer much more than abortions. This defunding will impact HIV screenings, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, sex education and infant mortality prevention, among other things. But the pro-birth crowd would rather focus on abortion procedures that make up just two percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities. People can die from HIV and babies can die from lack of treatment in their twisted morality, as long as women are denied choice.
With this bill, which has 90 days before it actually becomes law, around $1.3 million in grants will be stripped from Planned Parenthood centers in Ohio. The money will, instead, go to other facilities that don’t perform elective abortions.
The pro-birthers say that the bill was necessary because the money going to Planned Parenthood went to pay staff and clinic costs, even if they didn’t perform abortions. Ah, pretzel logic. The right is so good at that.
Thankfully, the cuts — which represent about 5% of Planned Parenthood’s statewide budget — will not force any closures or prevent abortion services. But they will have to try to replace funding for other programs.
Other attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, most recently in Utah, have been declared unconstitutional.
Featured Image by Marc Nozell via Flickr