Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Bowling Green State University today.
The Blade/Lori King
BOWLING GREEN -- Gov. John Kasich today declined to say whether he would veto a provision that would prohibit publicly funded universities in Ohio from signing transfer agreements with abortion clinics.
“I’m pro-life,” Mr. Kasich said in response to a question from Avneet Singh, a medical student at the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio, who attended the governor’s address to the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce on the campus of Bowling Green State University.
“We’ll have to see how this proceeds through the House and the Senate conference committee and then I’ll make a decision on whether I think it goes too far,” Mr. Kasich said, changing the subject to the rising costs of higher education.
Ms. Singh said afterward that she couldn’t tell from Mr. Kasich’s response whether he’s going to employ his line-item-veto power to remove the provision if it remains in the Senate version of the budget that is to be merged this week with the House version.
“Hopefully things happen to change within the conference committee,” Ms. Singh said.
“Answering a question with an ideology does not mean it’s the best thing for Ohio or for Ohio students,” said Ms. Singh, who just finished her first year. “You can be pro-life and pro-Ohio and pro-women, too. They’re not mutually exclusive.”
She said there will be a lawsuit challenging the apparent shutdown of one clinic, the Center for Choice, which was told April 24 that it would have to close if it could not secure a transfer agreement.
A state health regulation in effect since 1996 requires all walk-in surgical centers to have on file a signed a transfer agreement. None of Toledo’s three hospital systems has agreed to to sign such an agreement with Toledo's two abortion clinics, and a provision in the Senate version of the budget would prohibit UT from doing so.
About 125 people attended the governor’s speech, which focused largely on what he said is his mission to grow the state economically by keeping taxes low and lowering regulatory barriers. He said he wants to re-energize career and technical education in Ohio.
“We had a 16 percent increase in the career tech. We also want to make sure that you are focused on the jobs that really exist in the state. We don’t need you to be training people for jobs that don’t exist. We think that what you’re doing is vital to our future,” Mr. Kasich said.
After speaking inside the Donnell Theatre of the Wolfe Center for the Arts to business leaders he addressed members of Buckeye Boys State who are holding their annual meeting this week on the campus.
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