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Kasich as Ohio Governor enacted 21 restrictions on abortion
By Maggie Prosser
(February 5, 2019) — Last week, federal appeals court judges heard arguments on the legality of a lower court’s decision to block an Ohio law prohibiting abortions on fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome.
The ban was just one of 21 restrictions on abortion enacted during the tenure of former Gov. John Kasich. He signed House Bill 214 into law in December 2017, but a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction in March 2018 barring it from going into effect.
The legislation was one of 11 laws limiting abortion access that Kasich signed during his eightyear tenure. Here are the other 10 laws, which present 20 restrictions to reproductive health care:
House Bill 153
Signed: June 30, 2011; Effective: same date
The 2011 biennial state budget bill forbids the use of state funds to pay for any “health care policy, contract or plan that provides coverage, benefits, or services related to nontherapeutic abortion.” A “nontherapeutic abortion” is an abortion induced when the mother’s life is not endangered or the pregnancy was not the result of rape or incest.
The law also prohibits performing such abortions in public facilities such as state universities, state medical colleges or public hospitals.
House Bill 78
Signed: July 20, 2011; Effective: Oct. 18, 2011
The law requires fetal viability testing to begin at the 20th week of pregnancy and bans abortions once viability is confirmed except in cases of medical emergencies.
House Bill 63
Signed: Nov. 4, 2011; Effective: Feb. 2, 2012
A minor seeking an abortion must have her parents’ permission or a court order from a judge, called a “judicial bypass,” saying an abortion is in her best interest. The law tightens access to a judicial bypass by requiring courts to explain the emotional and physical risks of an abortion and to ask if a minor had been instructed on how to testify at the hearing.
House Bill 79
Signed: Dec. 21, 2011; Effective: Mar. 21, 2012
The law says abortions cannot be covered by health insurance plans purchased through the 2010 health-care law known as the Affordable Care Act. Exceptions are made for cases where the woman’s life is threatened or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
House Bill 59
Signed: June 30, 2013; Effective: Pending court review
Ohio law requires ambulatory surgical facilities or outpatient facilities including abortion clinics, to have a patient-transfer agreement with a local hospital. However, regulations in the state’s 2013 biennial budget bill prevent clinics from obtaining transfer agreements from public hospitals.
Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region sued the state over these regulations after the Ohio Department of Health cited a Cincinnati-area clinic for not having a patient-transfer agreement. A judge blocked the requirement until the suit is resolved.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio also said the law:
‒ Created a program to fund crisis pregnancy centers — centers that intend to intercept women considering abortion — but did not allocate money for the program.
‒ Required ultrasounds be performed before an abortion, even when medically unnecessary.
‒ Required counseling before an abortion.
‒ Cut funding for Planned Parenthood and four other women’s health providers.
‒ Banned rape crisis centers from counseling rape survivors about abortion.
House Bill 64
Signed: June 30, 2015; Effective: Pending court review
The 2015 biennial budget bill added more restrictions to patient-transfer agreements. It defined “local hospital” — which was undefined in an earlier law — as a hospital within 30 miles of the ambulatory surgical facility. It also required the Department of Health to respond to a facility’s license application within 60 days or the application is denied.
Ohio Right to Life said the law also redirects federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families funds to crisis pregnancy centers.
House Bill 294
Signed: Feb. 22, 2016; Effective: Blocked by court
The law banned state and certain federal funds from going to organizations and affiliates that perform or promote nontherapeutic abortions, such as Planned Parenthood.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio said the law cut funding for public health initiatives supported by the state health department, including domestic violence prevention, breast and cervical cancer screening, infertility prevention, HIV/AIDS treatment, infant mortality prevention and comprehensive sex education.
Ohio Right to Life spokeswoman Jamieson Gordon said “this only builds off of what we have already accomplished, and it is important for the state to remain consistent in its commitment to keeping tax dollars out of the pockets of the abortion industry.”
Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region won a permanent injunction in 2016 after a U.S. district court judge found the measure unconstitutional.
Senate Bill 127
Signed: Dec. 13, 2016; Effective: Mar. 13, 2017
This law prohibits abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Ohio Right to Life says that at 20 weeks, a fetus’s “pain sensors are fully developed.”
House Bill 49
Signed: June 20, 2017; Effective: June 20, 2017
Law provides funding for crisis pregnancy centers.
Senate Bill 145
Signed: Dec. 21, 2018; Effective: March 21
This law outlaws abortion by dilation and evacuation in cases when the mother’s life is not endangered. The method is common in the second-trimester of pregnancy.
Opponents dub it “dismemberment abortions,” defined in the law as dismembering “a living unborn child and (extracting) the unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus.”