Thursday, Jan 18, 2018
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Democrats, abortion rights supporters attack Kasich over budget restrictions

A group of elected Democrats and supporters of abortion rights in Toledo today attacked Gov. John Kasich for signing a two-year state budget that they said jeopardizes women's health.

State Democratic chairman Chris Redfern, who is also a state representative from Catawba Island Township, stood with state Sen. Edna Brown (Toledo), state Rep. Michael Ashford (Toledo), Toledo Councilman Lindsay Webb, Toledo Clerk of Courts Vallie Bowman-English and others outside Planned Parenthood on Jefferson Avenue downtown.

"Governor Kasich is abandoning women and moving to slash the services that women depend on," said Ms. Bowman-English.

A last-minute addition to the budget requires a doctor performing abortions to first perform an ultrasound to detect a fetal heartbeat and then offer to let the woman seeking an abortion hear or see that heartbeat. Failure to following this procedure could lead to criminal prosecution of the doctor.

The budget also places Planned Parenthood at the end of the line when it comes to distributing Ohio’s share of federal family planning funds, and prohibits state-supported hospitals such as University of Toledo Medical Center from having an emergency transfer agreement with an abortion clinic.

Senator Brown said it was "appalling" that Governor Kasich did not veto "some of the ridiculous provisions put in the budget by people with some far, far-out visions of what a woman should do about her own health care."

Ms. Webb said the council district she represents, which includes Point Place and parts of north and west Toledo, is largely working class that relies on the abortion and health care services that were available before the budget passed. She commented on the newspaper photograph of Governor Kasich signing the budget surrounded by "aging men."

"They don't know what it's like to be a college student and a struggling working woman," Ms. Webb said. "There are women in Toledo who are going to have less health access. There are devastating, meaningful consequences in Toledo."

The two-year budget signed into law on Sunday has also attracted support locally.

Abortion opponents met on Tuesday at the former Center for Choice, an abortion clinic that closed in June, to celebrate what they described as "the most pro-life budget in Ohio's history."

Contact Tom Troy at or 419-724-6058.

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