The Republican-dominated Ohio State legislature, along with Governor John Kasich dismantled women’s reproductive rights with the stroke of a pen last night. All this was done last-minute without debate, and without hearings. These horrifying provisions were added into a budget bill and slammed through. They knew what they were doing.
How bad is it for Ohio women now? Bad. In Ohio, you are now pregnant before a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. You will be forced to submit to and pay for medically unnecessary ultrasounds. You will be lied to by taxpayer-funded religious organizations, who will still receive their funding ahead of Planned Parenthood. An abortion provider will be required by law to attempt to find a fetal heartbeat and inform you if there is one. You may not be able to use an IUD in the state of Ohio.
According to MaddowBlog, the policies themselves are nothing short of breathtaking in their scope:
* Rape crisis centers will operate under a state-imposed gag order — rape-crisis counselors will face new restrictions when telling impregnated rape victims that they can legally terminate their pregnancy.
* The budget effectively defunds Planned Parenthood clinics in the state.
* There’s a provision to require women seeking legal abortions to undergo a state-mandated, medically-unnecessary ultrasound — even if women don’t want one, and if their doctor doesn’t recommend one. Ohio Republicans proudly declared they want to put themselves between patients and their physicians, prescribing specific procedures for no medical reason.
* Women will also be required to pay for state-mandated, medically-unnecessary ultrasounds they do not want and their doctors do not think they need.
* Physicians will be legally required to deliver a Republican-written speech to women seeking legal abortions. Whether the doctor believes what’s in the script, or even wants to say those words to his or her patient, has been deemed irrelevant.
* Clinics that provide abortion services will be required to have transfer agreements with local hospitals, and then bans public hospitals from establishing those agreements, all in the hopes of shutting the clinics down.
* And Republican policymakers in the state decided to redefine the words “pregnancy” and “fetus” in state law — the budget decides that a woman is pregnant even before a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterine lining. The effect of this policy may prevent a woman from using an IUD in the state of Ohio.
Watch this video From Rachel Maddow, explaining this devastating Tea Party attack on Ohio Women: