Ohio Senate OKs Bill to Cut Abortion Funding in Obamacare

State   Steven Ertelt   Dec 14, 2011   |   6:26PM    Columbus, OH

Today, the Ohio Senate added to what has already been a historic pro-life year by approving HB 79, legislation designed to protect pro-life taxpayers from paying for abortion via Obamacare. This legislation now heads to pro-life Governor John Kasich’s desk for his signature.

With today’s passage in the Ohio Senate, HB 79 will be the seventh pro-life measure enacted in the state of Ohio in 2011.

“As we move closer to national health care, it was critical for Ohio to take advantage of the federal opt out provision,” said Mike Gonidakis, Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life.  “This legislation ensures that Ohioans who support life don’t have to pay for someone else’s elective abortions.”

House Bill 79 would exclude abortion coverage from the State Exchange which Ohio must create as required by the new federal health care law. The federal law includes a provision allowing states to opt out, making it possible for this legislation to protect the conscience rights of pro-life taxpayers.

“Ohio is committed to realizing a culture of life in our state and has become an example for the nation,” said Gonidakis. “That is evident through the unprecedented slate of pro-life legislation that has moved through the legislature this year alone.  We are blessed for the unwavering pro-life leadership of Senate President Tom Niehaus, Speaker Bill Batchelder and Governor John Kasich,” said Gonidakis.

Ohio Right to Life said it is  grateful to Senator Keith Faber, Senator Kevin Bacon, Senate President Tom Niehaus, and bill sponsors State Representatives Joe Uecker and Danny Bubp for standing up for pro-life Ohioans through House Bill 79.

Passage of the measure follows a vote in November by Ohio voters to keep government from requiring Ohioans to participate in any health care system.

The constitutional amendment passed is largely symbolic but it comes in response to the Obamacare law that pro-life groups opposed because of abortion funding concerns, worries about a lack of conscience protections for pro-life medical workers and fears about rationing. But, with more than 1.5 million votes tallied, Ohio Issue 3 won with more than 66 percent of voters saying “Yes” to the proposal to prevent Ohioans from being forced to participate in a health care system. The official language says it is a proposal to “preserve the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care.”

Ohio Right to Life endorsed the measure and said in response to the vote, “Ohio is a Pro-Life State. Democrats, Republicans and Independents united on election day to reject Obamacare. Issue 3 passed in all 88 counties and overall by a 30% margin! Congratulations! Our next responsibility in the great Buckeye State is to elect a pro-life president in 2012!”