Yesterday, we joined nearly 100 pro-choice activists at the Ohio Statehouse to demand that our lawmakers remove two anti-abortion restrictions from the state’s proposed budget.
Women from every corner of the state traveled to Columbus to raise the alarm after Ohio House and Senate leaders quietly re-inserted the “30-mile” transfer agreement provision into the budget in an 11th hour attempt to close Toledo’s last abortion clinic.
While it was inspiring to be in the presence of so many progressive women, it was heartbreaking to witness our protests being ignored by the Republican majority in the House and Senate.
As explained in an editorial by the The Cleveland Plain Dealer, lawmakers officially passed the state budget with the following anti-abortion provisions still in-tact:
By allowing these anti-abortion restrictions to remain in the budget, Ohio’s lawmakers are blatantly disregarding the ruling of Lucas County Judge Myron Duhart, which stated that adding abortion licensing provisions to a state budget bill violates the Ohio Constitution’s "single subject" rule.
Referring to previous anti-abortion provisions that were added in a similar manner to the state’s budget bill in 2013, Judge Duhart’s ruling states:
By adding these anti-abortion restrictions to the state’s new budget, Ohio’s legislators are purposefully ignoring the court’s opinion and the Constitution’s single-subject rule.
We join our friends at NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio in urging all Ohioans to contact Governor Kasich and make it clear to him that these unconstitutional legislative tactics are outrageous and will not be tolerated by his constituents.
At this point, the only way to remove the two anti-abortion restrictions from the budget is if John Kasich line item vetoes them.
Please call Governor Kasich's office at (614) 466-3555 and urge him to line item veto the abortion restrictions.
Editor's Note: One of our readers asked what she should say when she calls Kasich. Here's what I suggest:
"The provisions regarding transfer agreements and variances for abortion clinics have no place in the state's fiscal budget bill. Not only will these abortion restrictions hurt Ohio's women, their presence within the budget violates the Ohio Constitution's single subject rule. I respectfully ask that you please line item veto these provisions from the budget."