While everyone’s attention has been focused on the Texas last-stand battle over reproductive rights, the middle-aged white guys in Ohio slipped a string of restrictions on abortion into the state budget bill in Ohio, which was then signed by Gov. John Kasich.
Significant abortion provisions in the budget were not changed. The bill essentially cuts off Planned Parenthood from about $1.4 million in federal family-planning dollars by re-prioritizing who can receive the money.
Under the bill, abortion clinics must have a transfer agreement with a hospital, but they are prohibited from signing one with a public hospital. The bill also requires a doctor to perform an external ultrasound prior to an abortion to search for a heartbeat, and if one is found, the doctor must inform the woman. The doctor also must tell the woman the likelihood of the fetus surviving to a full term, and the bill redefines a fetus as “developing from the moment of conception,” rather than when a fertilized egg has been implanted in the uterus.
The bill also provides funding for crisis pregnancy centers, which supporters say offer women important alternatives to abortion, but critics argue they provide medically inaccurate information.
Say what you will about the white patriarchs in Texas, at least they had the guts to bring their bill out of the shadows and onto the floor of the legislature where it was debated… and debated…. and created a sensation over Wendy Davis. The cowards in Ohio had to slide it into the state budget where they were hoping that no one would notice them until — hey presto — the governor had already signed them.
That says a lot about the men who make the rules in Ohio. Why is it that they don’t have the courage of their convictions to stand up and say out loud that they believe that every sperm is sacred and that their goal is to have ultimate control over other peoples’ bodies? That they believe that they are the only ones who know what’s best for women? That all this talk about smaller government and more freedom doesn’t apply to pseudoscience and genitalia? And why don’t they believe that these are topics that are worthy of debate? Why do they have to sneak it into the state budget by last-minute slight-of-hand?
Because they know that if they did; if they said out loud what they truly believe about who should really be in charge of other peoples’ lives and their choices, they would lose, and lose badly.
HT to Steve Benen.