As state legislators returned from their summer recess and prepared to debate even more anti-woman bills, hundreds of demonstrators from more than 50 women’s, labor and other groups marched on the Ohio state capitol in Columbus. Angered by draconian attacks on women’s health care, they vowed to defeat the politicians supporting such legislation.
Said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation (and publisher of Ms.),
Gov. [John] Kasich ran and won by promising jobs, but Ohio is third from the bottom in creating jobs. Once he got elected, he didn’t talk about jobs. He talked about controlling a woman’s uterus.
Other speakers at the 90-minute “We Won’t Go Back” rally echoed her comments. Said Terry O’Neill, president of NOW,
Women are not fooled by the hide-and-sneak tactics of John Kasich and his pals who want to push us back to the 1950s. Make no mistake, the politicians who keep waging this outrageous war on women will pay a price at the polls next year.
Added NARAL’s Kellie Copeland,
Gov. Kasich’s work to close abortion clinics and family planning centers is a serious threat to women’s health. Ohio women and their families deserve better and won’t forget these attacks on their health care.
Doctors and their patients also spoke, with the physicians complaining that they have been pushed aside while politicians legislate how they practice medicine.
Kasich signed bills this year that cut family-planning funds from Planned Parenthood, redirected Temporary Assistance for Needy Families money to unregulated crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), prevented rape-crisis centers from counseling women made pregnant from rate about abortion, and forced women seeking abortions to undergo invasive ultrasounds to detect fetal heartbeats. It also required that abortion clinics have transfer agreements with local public hospitals, although Ohio public hospitals are barred from entering into such agreements.
Pending bills in Ohio include one that would require doctors to tell women there is a link between breast cancer and abortion (none exists) and prosecute doctors who refuse to lie to patients, and HB 248, which would make most abortions illegal if an embryonic heartbeat could be detected (which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy).
Photo of Ohio State Capitol building from Flickr user jimbowen0306 under license from Creative Commons 2.0