Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 79 today, a bill that legislation designed to protect pro-life taxpayers from paying for abortion via Obamacare. This is the seventh piece of pro-life legislation Ohio has produced this year that Kasich has backed.
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.
“The pro-life movement is very proud of what Governor John Kasich, Senate President Tom Niehaus and Speaker Bill Batchelder have accomplished in 2011. Ohio is witnessing historic gains in legislation that protects mothers and saves unborn babies,” said Mike Gonidakis, Executive Director for Ohio Right to Life.
“As we move closer to national health care, it was critical for Ohio to take advantage of the federal opt out provision,” he said. “This legislation ensures that Ohioans who support life don’t have to pay for someone else’s elective abortions. While we can all agree that people should have access to healthcare, we reject the notion that abortion is healthcare because the only measure of ‘success’ of an abortion procedure is the death of an innocent child.”
“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.
Gonidakis said Ohio Right to Life, its affiliated chapters and statewide membership are sincerely thankful for Governor Kasich’s leadership, the entire Ohio Senate Republican caucus and the majority of pro-life members of the Ohio House for prioritizing life-saving measures in 2011. Ohio Right to Life also offers special thanks to Rep. Joe Uecker and Rep. Danny Bubp for sponsoring H.B. 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!”