Abortion battles may increase in Ohio

More than 25,470 abortions were performed in Ohio in 2012 - 700 more than previous year.
TNS Regional News
Jun 23, 2014

 

Anti-abortion-rights activists in Ohio are working on a legislative agenda for 2015 that could continue to chip away at access to abortion.

Already this year, one clinic is in danger of closing because of a provision in last year’s budget and three others face the same outcome. In addition, legislation regulating how abortions are paid for has been introduced.

In light of these moves, Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said the state is “quickly becoming one of the most dangerous states for women’s health.”

But Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis said people can expect to see a “rather large and robust” agenda from his group next year. The group has been pushing for incremental changes to Ohio’s abortion laws, a practice that has been more successful since Republican John Kasich was elected governor in 2010. Kasich is against abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.

“I feel pretty confident that all our pro-life incumbents, from Gov. Kasich to our incumbents in the (Ohio) House, will get re-elected,” Gonidakis said.

More than 25,470 abortions were performed in Ohio in 2012, about 700 more than what was recorded in 2011. It was the first increase in the state since at least 2001, according to the Ohio Department of Health. About 37,460 abortions were reported in 2001.

Without giving details, Gonidakis said the group has plans for five or six bills but that they need to be vetted by lawmakers who need to win their elections in the fall.

“You have to take it a step at a time, you have to change culture,” he said, adding that the group won’t waste “time, energy or effort” on pursuing changes he doesn’t think can be enacted now. Still, he said “Ohioans are embracing” the agenda.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released this year, 34 percent of Ohioans think abortion should be legal in most cases, while 27 percent say it should be illegal in most cases. Fourteen percent say it should be illegal in all cases.

Opinion has shifted only slightly since January 2012, when 33 percent said it should be legal in most cases, 28 percent said it should be illegal in most cases and 16 percent said it should be illegal in all cases.

The strategy of small changes is something being followed in other states.

Michigan passed a bill this year banning abortion coverage in the private insurance marketplace without a rider that must be purchased in advance. The idea was labeled “rape insurance” by Democrats.

Last summer, Texas passed a law that has contributed to the closure of nearly two-thirds of the state’s abortion clinics. The law requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. A similar law, modeled after that in Texas, was just signed in Louisiana.

And Florida passed a bill this month that would make abortion illegal in cases in which a doctor determines the fetus could survive outside the womb.

Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said the organization works with its local affiliates to figure out what kind of legislation can be passed in each state.

“Even though we can’t stop abortion, we are looking for ways to reduce their numbers,” Tobias said.

Tobias said Ohio has been successful in passing anti-abortion laws.

“I think Ohio is one of the stronger states for legislation, but I can tell you that Louisiana, Texas and Wisconsin can make that same claim,” she said. Last year, Kasich signed off on a provision in the two-year state budget that forbids public hospitals from entering into transfer agreements with abortion clinics. The clinics need the agreement to keep their licenses under Ohio law.

Toledo’s last abortion clinic came one step closer to closing its doors for good earlier this month because of a lack of a transfer agreement. The closure of the city’s last clinic, in operation since 1983, would put the number of facilities statewide at 10.

Abortion-rights activist Copeland said she expects to see three other clinics in litigation soon as a result of the transfer-agreement rule. She said anti-abortion groups across the country have been using the legislative process to limit access to abortions.

And while clinics are fighting the restrictions that have been put in place during the past few years, Copeland said, not every clinic is able to afford to.

She said NARAL aims to inform activists and the public about what is going on and how they would be affected. State legislative changes don’t receive as much attention from the public as a “flashy” Supreme Court case, she said.

When Ohio lawmakers return to session in the fall, they will consider a bill introduced by Rep. John Becker, R-Union Township, that would prohibit insurance companies from covering abortion, including in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother. The only exception would be for ectopic, or tubal, pregnancies.

The bill also would ban insurance coverage for public employees as well as those on Medicaid for birth control that prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg, such as intrauterine devices. The bill was heavily criticized by Democrats during the first hearing this month.

———

By Kristen Mitchell - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

-rebel

Adoption not abortion. The only way to describe 25,470 abortions, is mass murder. This is one statistic that Ohioans should feel disgusted and ashamed of.

Reva

Agreed. That figure amounts to almost 70 abortions a day. Sad and ashamed for sure!

propman

In this country alone there are on average over 3,200 abortions every day.Many who support that are the same ones that are crying "not one more" while calling for more restrictions on law abiding gun owners.
By the way we'd have to have over 160 Sandy Hook shootings every day to get an equal number of kids lost as we do to abortions.
Where is their cry of "not one more" for abortions if their really were for protecting the kids?

jamie9700

If the pro-death crowd could be educated to realize that half of those murdered babies will be WOMEN and half of them will be DEMOCRATS and all will be TAXPAYERS they'd be quick to outlaw abortion.

swiss family

who is the "pro death" crowd??? you must be referring to the "pro choice " crowd, because I have never met anyone who is pro death... I believe that abortion is murder, and most of the people that I have talked to also believe that it is murder if let go, to the point where a baby actually develops, as well... but I also believe that people are human, and people are weak, and usually the very last thing that most people are thinking of when the opportunity comes along when they get the chance to "do it" is a baby... it is all about here and now, and the heck with anything past this moment....then all of a sudden, weeks later, when suddenly things are late, and tests are done and results from drugstore tests are revealed and results are known.. then suddenly a baby is a reality..So why does everyone act like this is not what happens?? why does everyone want birth control NOT to be covered?? why make it more difficult for anyone to prevent a baby that is not in a position to raise one to keep from having one??? you do know that even if you force someone to have a baby, does NOT assure that they will Love and tend to and care for that child, and seriously, can you think of anything more tragic than to be a child that no one loves?? especially your Mom doesn't even Love you???To me we can either use logic and reason, or we can see who can stand higher on the soapbox.. we have all made mistakes.. and they do not end with us or with our generation.. so why would we think that they would??... why don't we get realistic and logical and try to solve the problems and actually promote the "morning after " pill, that way when the crucial moment is over but before the "baby" has developed.. it would be better to flush the compound cell out of your system before it develops any further... include this pill in ALL insurance plans and be logical about it...it is only logical in my opinion

freespeech1

And this public service announcement brought to you by Dr Ben Dover. (AKA Swissy)

swiss family

and this just goes to prove , that people too stupid to have an actual opinion, seem to have the need to try to demean anyone who does...poor, simple, "special"blogger.....

freespeech1

um swiss, if your going to call people stupid, you might want to use better sentence structure. " that people too stupid to have an actual opinion", you forgot the word "ARE" between people and too. Just thought I would point that out. You seem a bit stressed swiss, I hear the reservoir is a great place to unwind. Have a great day!!

swiss family

hahahahha you are showing what a genuine idiot you really are... I was correct in saying what I said.. and the word "ARE does NOT go in where you think it should when I am directing it at you... ahhahahahhahah go back to school idiot...and thanks for the suggestion about the reservoir.. it is a great place to relax and enjoy, I might just do that....lolololol if you decide to do that maybe you should bring along an English book.....Bahahahaha would it have been easier fo you to understand if I had said "someone"???as in "someone too stupid?" I wouldn't say "someone are too stupid"...... lololollolol

starryeyes83

Abortions have been around for a few or more centuries in one form or another. Also, nature has a way of dealing with it on her own.

We are over - populated, we are running out of natural resources. So how many of you are willing to spend your money to adopt all these babies in the future? I'll wager not many.

How many of you are willing to adopt and pay for (not tax money) the refugee kids or the illegal kids crossing into this country? Again, not many.

Bottom line: a woman's uterus is not community property -- so stay out of it.

It's pro - choice in this country for a reason. Birth control doesn't always work and many people cannot afford it.

Not to mention education is not working, if it was, places like Africa and Haiti and Mexico would have better population control. They don't care, all they care about is to see how many women they can rape. Many areas in this country are the same especially if they get more handouts, even if that weren't the case , the pregnancy rates wouldn't drop that much.

Don't even start with the murder and God B.S. -- It's an archaic argument which doesn't translate into modern times. And it's no longer valid.

Ralph Wiggum

So what is the reason you're here? Did your mother have archaic beliefs or did she want to screw the world over by adding one more to the overpopulation?

swiss family

@starry....I have to say that I agree to a point with you... I do NOT think that the Government has any right to govern what happens in or to a woman's body. I Love to ask the "Pro Lifers, how many children they have adopted, and when they hem, haw around, and tell me that it is not financially possible, or it would interfere with their career, or their family life wouldn't allow it etc... and I tell that how those are the exact same reasons that I hear why women get abortions???and they get that dumbfounded look on their faces....

starryeyes83

Ralph,

Well, know -it- all, FYI: Years ago my mother had a high risk pregnancy, with me, plus a difficult birth, in the 60's ... believe me If she didn't want us here, WE would not be here. She was told then don't have anymore. And her contribution was only 3 without taking any freebies or welfare.

I'm on here, because I can be. I'm a woman it's my body and my choice, until I complete menopause.

What do you men do? ... most of you split and don't take responsibility, so unless YOU men start carrying and giving birth STFU.

Women are going to get abortions, one way or another, and have the right to have one in a safe manner,

NO man has the right to tell a woman what to do. Husbands are becoming a thing of the past, and boyfriends or shack ups aren't really permanent now, are they?

I think maybe some of you men get your rocks off on girls/women having babies via rape or incest, because your egos and arrogance over run your mouths and common sense.

Now then, Ralph, how many of those kids DID YOU say you were going to adopt and assume responsibility for?

What's that? I can't "hear" you - it's a valid question. What's your answer?

None, yeah, thought so.

Idiot.

Waggaze

I find the pro-life group absolutely amazing and also hypocritical. On one hand they advocate for outlawing abortion thus limiting a woman's choice of how they address their personal health and then they advocate for the death penalty full bore and love their wars. This comes down to an oxymoron for this group. All of them should be signed up to adopt the children born to women who did not want to carry the fetus through the full term. I suspect quite a few of these Believers would soon change their politics on telling women what they can do with their own bodies forcing their politics down their throats as well as the religious beliefs. You cannot have wars, death sentences and then stop abortions as your mantra as they do contradict each other and sends a mixed message unless of course you are mentally mixed up.