Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed into law a pro-life state budget that funds pregnancy centers providing women with abortion alternatives and could close abortion clinics that can’t meet basic health and safety standards expected of legitimate medical centers.
Kasich signed the State of Ohio’s 2016-2017 Budget, which provides funding for Ohio’s over 140 pregnancy centers. These life-affirming centers provide material assistance to pregnant women in need, as well as parenting classes for mothers and fathers alike, a service that many centers consider a core element in empowering families.
Across the country, there are over 3,000 pregnancy help centers, outnumbering abortion facilities by a ratio of 6:1. In Ohio, they outnumber abortion providers by a ratio of 18:1, according to Ohio Right to Life.
“With Ohio facing an infant mortality crisis, it’s absolutely essential that our state enlists and promotes as many community partners as possible to help pregnant women and their children survive birth and their first birthday,” said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. “We know that abortion increases the risk of premature birth, and that premature birth increases the risk of infant mortality. It’s clear that our state needs a consistent ethic that affirms life at all of its stages, and pregnancy centers are the perfect partners for promoting that.”
Krider says her group is very happy about the pro-life provisions in the budget that hold abortion businesses accountable and could close them down if they fail to protect women’s health.
According to ORTL, the budget also includes pro-life measures that could restrict abortion facilities. The first is an amendment that defines “local” following an abortion facility’s attempt to enter into a contract with an out-of-state hospital in order to stay open.
The second is a requirement that the Ohio Department of Health respond to a facility’s license application in reasonable time. Failure to approve the application within that time will result in the facility’s closure.
The first provision could affect the last abortion facility in Toledo, Capital Care Network, which has remained open for almost a year following an order to close from the Ohio Department of Health. Recently, a Toledo judge ruled that the facility could remain open, determining that the 50 mile distance between the clinic and a Michigan hospital was acceptable for a transfer agreement. The second could affect Women’s Med Center in Kettering, an abortion facility whose variance request was rejected by ODH last week.
“As a pro-life state, we have to be working to hold abortion facilities accountable, while also promoting positive alternatives to the heartbreaking practice of abortion,” said Krider. “Showing compassion for women and opposing abortion are not mutually exclusive. We have to stop the abortion industry’s disingenuous attempts to turn women against their babies. We have to truly love them both.”
She told LifeNews: “Ohio Right to Life thanks Governor John Kasich for signing the budget with our pro-life measures, and for continuing to lead Ohio in promoting human life.”
ACTION: Thank Governor Kasich by going here.