June 27, 2013

The worst part about the new abortion restrictions in the Ohio budget proposal is a requirement that a clinic's transfer agreement (for emergency cases) may only be with a private hospital -- which, of course, are mostly Catholic. See what they did there? Once again, male legislators and the Catholic Church are deciding what's best for the little ladies:

Today, the Ohio General Assembly is set to vote on a two-year state budget that includes several anti-abortion provisions, including a requirement added on Tuesday that doctors locate any fetal heartbeat and tell a woman about it before she has an abortion. The budget must take effect on Monday, and no filibuster could defeat the anti-abortion provisions in it: The final draft on Tuesday cleared a Republican-led committee of House and Senate members, so it is set for an up-or-down vote today, with no opportunities for amendments.

Still, anti-abortion and abortion-rights groups plan to flood statehouse galleries today to show their support for or opposition to the measures. In addition, Democratic lawmakers and doctors plan a press conference at 10 a.m. to protest the abortion regulations in the budget.

The abortion-related groups hope to influence Republican Gov. John Kasich, opponents’ only hope for defeating the measure. Kasich can line-item veto any budget provision, and he’ll have until 11:59 p.m. Sunday to make his decision and sign the bill into law.

Kasich has so far declined to predict whether he’ll veto the bill. He didn’t put the measures in the budget – General Assembly Republicans did – but he has reminded reporters several times that he opposes abortion.

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