Anti-women’s health politicians in states like Texas, North Carolina, and Wisconsin continue to try to chip away at women’s health care, but Ohio Governor John Kasich outshone them all this week by signing a budget that included a number of provisions designed to restrict women’s health and rights. With this in mind, we’re bestowing the undignified Gynotician of the week “award” on Governor John Kasich.
Governor Kasich is no stranger to attacking women’s health—since 2011 he has signed seven provisions into law that restricted a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions. In fact, Senator Randy Gardner declared the last two years since Governor Kasich was elected—as having "probably been the most significant pro-life legislative victories in Ohio history.” But this past Sunday, he outdid himself.
Surrounded by a bunch of men, Governor Kasich signed into law a new state budget that left in a number of anti-women’s health provisions including language to defund Planned Parenthood, TRAP restrictions, and a mandatory ultrasound requirement for women seeking an abortion.
As the Toledo Blade editorial board described it: “using the budget as a weapon against women is as cowardly as it is cruel” and we couldn’t agree with them more. Politicians in Ohio knew they couldn’t pass these unpopular anti-women’s health measures if they played by the rules, so instead they buried these provisions in the must-pass state budget. Governor Kasich had the opportunity to line-item veto these extreme and unpopular measures, but chose to ignore the will of Ohio women—including the 17,000 who signed petitions and the hundreds who showed up at the capitol in Columbus to oppose these measures.
In fact, a poll released the week before Kasich signed these provisions into law showed that more than half of Ohio voters opposed the provisions reallocating family planning funds and prohibiting public hospitals from having transfer agreements with abortion providers. But, in true Gynotician fashion Governor Kasich thought he knew what was best for women and their families—and chose to sign these extreme measures into law.
Decisions about women’s health should be made by a woman, her faith, and her family in consultation with her doctors—not politicians. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Ohio Governor John Kasich is trying to do. For signing this anti-women’s health budget and more, we’re naming him the Gynotician of the Week.