Abortion

Ohio’s budget was a big victory for Ohio Right to Life as five bills it supported were attached to the state’s new two year fiscal plan. But NARAL Pro Choice Ohio says the fight isn’t over.

Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonadakis is pretty pleased now that Republican Governor John Kasich has signed a budget that includes five anti abortion amendments.

Karen Kasler, Ohio Public Radio

After months of discussion and debate and several days of lingering questions, the state has a new two-year, $62 billion budget. The signing came with just hours to go before the new fiscal year.

The budget includes a gradual income tax cut over three years for everyone, a 50 percent income tax cut for small businesses, an increase in the state sales tax along with an expansion to digital downloads and magazine subscriptions, and some property tax changes. Gov. John Kasich said he was pleased with it, though it didn’t include his proposed Medicaid expansion.

A Republican-dominated legislative panel has passed a slew of changes to Ohio's budget, including a last-minute abortion regulation requiring doctors to provide written notice to pregnant women of a detectable fetal heartbeat.

The six-member conference committee moved the spending bill along party lines Tuesday night. The 4-2 vote sends the finalized budget bill to the floors of both legislative chambers, which are likely to take action Thursday.

Lawmakers face a Sunday deadline to pass the almost $62 billion, two-year spending bill.

Some Ohio doctors and medical clinic managers say if the Ohio legislature passes some anti-abortion bills now under consideration, it’s very possible there will be a shortage of doctors and medical facilities to serve the needs of Ohio women. And they warn more Ohio women will die due to complications from pregnancies.

Women seeking an abortion in Ohio would have to wait longer to undergo the procedure and listen to their doctors describe all of the fetus' "relevant features" under a measure being considered by state lawmakers.

The Republican-led Legislature's most recent attempt at curbing abortions would also require doctors to tell women that the procedure increases the risk of breast cancer and may cause pain to the fetus.

The bill will be presented Wednesday at a House committee hearing.

The so-called "Heartbeat Bill" is dead in this session of the legislature, according to Republican Senate president Tom Niehaus. But its backers say they won't give up, and are still hoping for a last-minute maneuver to get it to the Senate floor before the end of the year. But one supporter of restrictions on abortion who's not getting involved is Gov. John Kasich.

"I let the legislature do its job, and then I respond.  I try not to wade into the legislature," says Kasich.  "I don't get in the middle of legislative activity."

Earlier this week, backers of what's known as the heartbeat abortion bill threatened to use a unusual tactic known as a discharge petition to bring the bill for a vote by the state senate - despite the wishes of it's president. Now the senate president is taking an unusual step of his own to make sure the bill does not come up for a vote by his members during the lame duck session.

Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus has used an unusual procedure to keep the heartbeat abortion bill tied up in a senate committee for the next 30 days so it can’t come onto the floor for a vote.

Abortions By Ohio Women Are At An All-time Low

Nov 27, 2012

The Ohio Department of Health reports that induced abortions dropped 12 percent last year, hitting the lowest number since the state started tracking them 35 years ago.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that abortions have fallen in Ohio each year since 2000. Experts attribute it to a variety of factors, including increased use of birth control, better access to health care and improved health education.

The number of overall Ohio births also has fallen, 16.5 percent from 1990 to 2010.

An Ohio house committee has recommended a bill that would re-prioritize funding for family planning services so that Planned Parenthood would be last on the list.

An Ohio House committee is scheduled to take a possible vote on a bill that could put Planned Parenthood in the back of the line when it comes to money for family planning services. That’s just one of the bills that lawmakers will likely consider in the coming lame duck session of the Ohio legislature.

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