Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine released his 2019 state operating budget today. Previous budgets have been used and abused by Republicans to force abortion restrictions on Ohioans with little or no committee hearings. All of the restrictions are medically-unnecessary, not based in accurate science, and several include wasteful expenditures of tax dollars.

Of the 21 abortion restrictions on reproductive health care funding and abortion access enacted by John Kasich, 14 were passed as budget amendments.

The state operating budget should not be used as a vehicle to pass extreme anti-abortion restrictions.

2011 Budget (HB 153)

  • Prohibits the use of political subdivision funds, with limited exception, for paying the costs, premiums, or charges associated with a health care policy, contract, or plan that provides coverage, benefits, or services related to nontherapeutic abortion.
  • Banned public hospitals from performing abortions.

2013 Budget (HB 59)

  • Created the program to fund crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) but did not allocate money to the program (although ODJFS ended up funding the program eventually)
  • Required that ultrasounds be performed to look for a fetal heartbeat before an abortion could happen, even if they were not medically necessary.
  • Required biased counseling to be given to the woman before an abortion, including information about the fetal heartbeat detection and medically ambiguous information about what it meant for the viability of the pregnancy
  • Required all ambulatory surgical facilities (ASF) to have a transfer agreement with a “local” hospital. Local was undefined and these transfer agreements are completely medically unnecessary because all hospitals must treat anyone in an emergency situation.
  • Banned public hospitals from being able to enter into a transfer agreement with an ASF that performs abortions.
  • “Reprioritized” family planning funding in a way to put Planned Parenthood and other stand along family planning specialists at the end of the line for funding. In addition to targeting the funding given to PP, four other providers who provide care in 13 counties were caught in the crosshairs.
  • Banned rape crisis centers that get funds through the rape crisis fund from counseling rape survivors about abortion.

2015 Budget (HB 64)

  • Budget line item to fund CPCs ($1 million total).
  • Eliminated optional Medicaid program covering family planning services for folks up to 200% FPL.
  • Requirement that ODH has to rule on variance application from an ambulatory surgical facility within 60 days or the application is automatically denied.
  • Require that an ambulatory surgical facility (ASF) transfer agreement be with a hospital within 30 miles of the facility.

2017 Budget (HB 49)

  • Re-Authorization of CPC Budget Line Item ($1 million total)
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