Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a state budget into law with pro-life provisions that will fund pro-life pregnancy centers, protect pro-life medical professionals.
Previously, the Ohio Legislature passed a biennial operating budget which maintained several key pro-life provisions, including funding for pregnancy centers that provide help for pregnant women and save babies from abortion.
Lawmakers included $6 million for the Ohio Parenting and Pregnancy Program which provides funding for pregnancy centers. The budget also includes pro-life provisions which protect parents’ conscience rights.
Governor DeWine signed the budget late last night before July 1st, when the state’s new fiscal year begins.
The budget includes he Medical Ethics and Diversity (MED) Act, which ensures doctors and medical professionals cannot be forced to perform medical procedures that violate their conscience or religious beliefs such as abortions. It also allows insurance companies to create insurance plans for businesses and organizations in line with their religious beliefs, resolving the issue an order of nuns called The Little Sisters of the Poor have faced for wanting a plan that doesn’t include abortion coverage.
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Center for Christian Virtue president Aaron Baer told LifeNews:
“Medical professionals face unbelievable pressure today to abandon their faith and ethical beliefs and to perform procedures they believe are harmful and dangerous. Make no mistake, the politically correct and woke culture that is bullying and silencing millions of Americans today is ingrained deeply into Ohio’s medical system.
“Yet, today, these men and women should feel assured that help is here. Because the General Assembly included the MED Act in the budget, and Governor DeWine signed it, life-saving men and women of faith across the state can know they cannot be fired or punished for ethically treating their patients.
Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, told LifeNews.com that he’s pleased with the pro-life provisions and funding for pregnancy centers.
“These pro-life provisions in our budget protect women, religious freedom and our school aged children. It’s rather sad that these groups oppose such policies. Left unchecked, the radical pro-abortion industry would have an abortion clinic on every street corner and indoctrinate our children to engage in unsafe and unhealthy practices,” he said.
“Thankfully a vast majority of Ohioans oppose abortion and support pro-life policies. Elections have consequences and we elected a pro-life super majority in the legislature. We applaud their work and expect Governor DeWine to do the same,” he added.
Another key policy addition is language that will protect the rights of conscience of medical providers, facilities and payers to be able to decline to participate in procedures that violate moral, ethical or religious beliefs of conscience.
“We have numerous stories of medical professionals, especially nurses, who have been required to participate in certain medical procedures that trouble their conscience or go against the teachings of their faith,” DeBlase added. “We believe that this is a fair accommodation, as it allows the provider to decline to participate in such procedures, but also notes that the patient will be notified and provided the opportunity to have another provider perform the service.”
Furthermore, funds are being directed to help support local programming directed to maternal health and support for pregnant mothers, funding to strengthen character-based sexual risk avoidance education programs in our schools, and to expand the successful Parenting and Pregnancy Program in Ohio.
“This is a very good budget, and we applaud our local and state officials for bringing this together,” continued DeBlase. “We look forward to Governor DeWine’s signature on these important provisions.”
LifeNews Note: This story has been edited to reflect that a provision to require abortion business to have a transfer agreement was dropped before the budget became law.