John Kasich has been hard at work as governor in his home state of Ohio, working to restrict access to reproductive health care.
Since entering office, he’s enacted 17 anti-abortion measures and the number of abortion providers in the state has dropped by half.
Now, a bill to block patients from accessing care Planned Parenthood has reached the state legislature, will presumably pass, and Governor Kasich has pledged to sign it.
As he’s been on the stump in Iowa and New Hampshire, he’s touted this bill as necessary because “Planned Parenthood has become completely discredited organization … I think the activity of Planned Parenthood has been very bad.”
What activity, exactly?
This leads us to the three questions we’d most like to ask Governor Kasich as he campaigns for president:
1. Why are you basing your attacks on (and signing a bill that is based on) fraudulent smear campaigns?
That’s right: Investigations by numerous states, and now by a grand jury, have been clear: Planned Parenthood has done nothing wrong. The smear campaigns — in the form of videos by so-called Center for Medical Progress — that Kasich claims “discredited” Planned Parenthood were totally made up, have repeatedly been debunked, and the makers behind those videos were just indicted by a grand jury.
Not only that, a federal judge recently ruled that David Daleiden and his pals aren’t allowed to share any of the secretly taped, heavily edited, intentionally misleading video they took, because the video contains “no evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing.”
(Oh, and Kasich, do you really not know who David Daleiden is? You claim Planned Parenthood has been discredited by these unfounded video smear campaigns, but you don’t even know the name of the person who did the discrediting? Really?)
2. How can you claim to be “pro-women’s health” and “anti-Planned Parenthood” at the same time?
“We will have robust funding for women’s health… we’ve spent a long time now working on the issue of infant mortality.” - John Kasich
In 2013, Kasich signed Ohio’s state budget bill — which included one provision that prohibits state-funded rape crisis counselors from referring women to abortion services, and another that stripped Planned Parenthood of an estimated $1.4 million in federal family-planning dollars.
Now, the latest bill set to land on his desk will cut thousands of Ohioans’ access to care at Planned Parenthood. Despite the fact that Ohio has among the highest infant mortality rate for African Americans in the nation, the bill Kasich is poised to sign would block nearly 2,800 new or expectant mothers who receive health care and education through Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio’s “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies” program that aims to prevent infant mortality. And, despite an embarrassing record of sex education in Ohio, this legislation would target sex education programs for at-risk youth, as well as education for women about healthy relationships and domestic violence (a program supported by the Violence Against Women Act).
Doesn’t sound like he’s pro-women’s health to us.
3. Do you really believe that women can get their care at dental offices or a food bank?
It’s a fact: Blocking patients from turning to Planned Parenthood for care cuts access to health care providers for thousands of women, men and young people in Ohio.
What’s Kasich’s answer?
“We don’t think that’s a problem, because there are many different entities that can handle this, from our hospitals throughout the state of Ohio to our federal clinics.” —Gov. Kasich
But this is what he really means:
“Senators supporting the measure have circulated a list of some 300 alternatives for low-income Ohio women seeking reproductive services. That tally, though, includes many duplicates, dentist offices, school nurses, senior centers, addiction treatment centers, and a food bank as options for Ohio women.” —The Guardian