Kasich Enlists In The Abortion Wars


Ohio Republicans are still trying to block their governor, John Kasich, from accepting billions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid, and are now saddling him with measures that will make it more difficult and obtrusive for women to terminate pregnancies.

The budget thus re-enlists Kasich in ongoing GOP efforts in states and at the federal level to dramatically restrict abortion access but leaves him, like some other GOP governors, at odds with his party over whether to participate in the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.On Sunday night, Kasich used his line item veto power to zero out almost two dozen measures in the budget. Included on that list was a provision that would have prevented him from expanding Medicaid. Not included were several anti-abortion provisions, according to the The Columbus Dispatch.

Kasich greenlighted measures aimed at starving Planned Parenthood of federal dollars; requiring abortion clinics to sign transfer agreements with hospitals (though publicly funded hospitals are prevented from participating); forcing doctors to perform ultrasounds on women seeking abortions, to inform those patients if a heartbeat is discovered, and shifting the definition of when a fetus develops to the moment of conception.

Kasich’s Medicaid veto preserves his power to authorize the Medicaid expansion, but he can not act on the authority without legislative approval to pay for it, according to the Dispatch.