Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill on Sunday that would block state funds to Planned Parenthood in the state.
The Republican assembly in Ohio passed a legislation following Kasich’s strong standing at the second place in the New Hampshire primary, one that could affect as much as $1.3 million in funding for Planned Parenthood in the state.The money acquired through the funding helps support screenings for breast cancer, STD, and programs designed to prevent violence against women. The funding exempts abortions being performed in cases of rape or incest, as reported by Huffington Post.
Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood’s president, said in a statement that the bill would “have devastating consequences for women across Ohio.” As reported by NBC News, Richards said, “It’s clear Kasich has no regard for women’s health or lives, and will stop at nothing to block health care for the tens of thousands of Ohioans who rely on Planned Parenthood.”
Kasich has talked about the importance of funding for women’s health through other means. He has also reportedly said that he doesn’t believe funding should go to Planned Parenthood as they have “discredited” themselves. In a statement, spokesman Joe Andrews highlighted the same point, saying: “The fact is that Governor Kasich has been a strong advocate for women’s health issues by helping 260,000 women gain access to health care coverage, pledging a 3-1 state match for a fund for breast and cervical cancer screenings, strengthening programs for sexual assault prevention, funding rape crisis centers for the first time in Ohio’s history, helping more women get access to childcare and protecting women from human trafficking.”
A state bill aimed to ban abortions for Down syndrome received support from Kasich last year. The bill saw resistance from critics, who said that it is in violation of the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade Ruling, according to which a woman should be permitted to abort the fetus until it is viable. The choice to get an abortion, it added, should rest with the woman and should be a matter between the patient and the doctor.