WASHINGTON (BP) — The state of Ohio’s two-year $62 billion budget is much more than that to both sides of the abortion debate.
When Gov. John Kasich signed the legislation June 30, he not only reduced the state income tax by $2.6 billion but also enacted a series of pro-life measures. As reported by The Columbus Dispatch, the budget:
— Eliminates $1.4 million in family planning funds for Planned Parenthood through a new priority system that places the abortion provider at the bottom of the list.
— Prohibits public hospitals from having transfer agreements for patients with abortion clinics.
— Mandates an abortion doctor perform an ultrasound and to inform a woman seeking an abortion if he finds a heartbeat for the unborn child.
— Provides funding for pregnancy help centers, which provide alternatives to abortion, as well as material support, for women considering abortion.
Pro-life advocates applauded inclusion of the pro-life measures in the budget bill.
“It took great compassion and courage for our governor and pro-life legislature to stand up to the abortion industry that blatantly pressured them,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life.
Meanwhile, abortion rights supporter Stephanie Kight, president of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, criticized the pro-life provisions, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, as “part of an orchestrated effort to roll back women’s rights and access to health care in Ohio.”
The law could force many of Ohio’s 12 abortion clinics to shut down, according to NARAL Pro-choice Ohio.
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode, with reporting by WORLD News Service.