This is where gerrymandering and a legislature that does not represent Ohio lead: Ohio is becoming a national laughingstock and a poster child for using the biannual budget as a weapon to assault woman and strip them of freedom to control their own lives.
ThinkProgress.org notes the disgraceful misuse of the budget bill by rightwing legislators who want to express their contempt for Ohio’s woman:
Ohio’s abortion opponents are hijacking the budget negotiations to push an agenda that has nothing to do with the state’s economy — seizing the opportunity to launch several attacks on women’s health.
The anti-woman forces in the legislature have not only used the budget to strip funding from Planned Parenthood but have voted to redirect it to so-called “Crisis Pregnancy Center” that exist merely to beat women over the head with anti-abortion propaganda much of it false and much of it religion-based. These centers don’t provide ANY of the services many women depend on Planned Parenthood for, such as mammograms, STD treatment, and contraception. And of course, the exact same women who would have benefited from the expansion of Medicaid, which the legislature rejected, are the women most likely to rely on Planned Parenthood.
They’ve also included other provisions intended to make it almost impossible to BE an abortion provider in Ohio, thereby putting poor women in an untenable position (Women of means will always be able to get an abortion, no matter what laws are passed).
You might ask yourself why these legislators who are supposedly horribly dismayed by all the “babies” being “murdered” aren’t alarmed that in some of Ohio’s urban areas, the infant mortality rates exceed those of Haiti and looking to expanded Medicaid and Planned Parenthood as two proven ways to address the problem. The answer would be that they don’t give a rat’s ass about “babies,” born or unborn. They just loathe the idea that women could have sex without suffering for it.
Media Matters mentions that the CIncinnati Enquirer has one its best to ignore the issue while the Akron Beacon Journal and the Columbus Dispatch (!!!) have editorialized against this abuse of power.
The Akron Beacon Journal penned an editorial attacking the House bill for its planned cuts and The Columbus Dispatch followed suit with an editorial that called for the proposed cuts to be “stripped from the budget.” The Cincinnati Enquirer has not produced original content on the stripping of funds, but has published two Associated Press articles which mentioned the plan to strip funding for the women’s health organization.
This type of action makes Ohio look regressive, repressive, and ignorant which, unfortunately, too many of our legislators are.