Ohio gov. signs budget bill, ups the ante on abortion limits

You know, everyone was worried that Kansas would be the first state to effectively ban abortion, but Ohio is giving it a run for its money. Today, Gov. John Kasich signed a budget that would ban hospitals and other facilities from performing elective abortions if they receive any state funding.

Combine that with the “heartbeat bill” — which bans abortions if a heartbeat can be detected, typically before a woman would even realize she is pregnant or could confirm it through pregnancy test — that has passed the House and now is in the GOP-controlled Senate, and Ohio is joining states like Kansas, Indiana, and South Dakota that are aiming to effectively ban abortion piece by piece.

Longer wait times, pregnancy crisis center consultation requirements (both part of a South Dakota law that was blocked by a federal judge yesterday), stricter facility regulation (luckily in Kansas, one of the three abortion clinics in the state managed to get a license despite the new regulations), restrictions on what places can perform elective abortions, defunding organizations like Planned Parenthood — all attempts to slowly, indirectly restrict abortion access. Of course, restrictions like the  Ohio “heartbeat bill” directly run counter to Roe v. Wade — but I guess the state government wanted a back-up plan for restricting abortion access in case that bill doesn’t pass the Senate.

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