John Kasich may have tried to pass himself off as a moderate on the campaign trail, but women in Ohio have seen his true colors firsthand. In just two weeks, a sweeping bill slashing funding for infant mortality prevention, HIV tests, sex ed, and violence awareness and prevention will go into effect — one of 18 pieces of anti-women's health legislation he's signed as governor.
Why is he doing this? Because he doesn't like Planned Parenthood.
This law will put the lives of women and their children at risk, over nothing more than political grandstanding — and we won't back down from this fight. If this isn't punishment, I don't know what is.
Planned Parenthood affiliates in Ohio are taking John Kasich to court to stop this devastating law, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund needs every single extremist legislator, from Idaho to Florida, to know they're on notice. Add your name to our open letter right now to tell John Kasich and lawmakers like him: We won't be punished for exercising our rights and getting the health care we deserve.
The Impact of Ohio's Anti-Women's Health Bill
This law would have an outsized impact on groups who have historically faced systemic barriers in accessing quality health care, including people with low incomes and communities of color.
- This legislation slashes Planned Parenthood’s Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program – despite Ohio having one of the highest infant mortality rates for African Americans in the nation.
- This law would also end access to over 70,000 free STD screenings that Planned Parenthood provides through the CDC STD Prevention program.
- It would also cut more than 5,000 free HIV and STD tests for individuals with higher risk factors for HIV, particularly within communities of African American women and men who have sex with men. Keep in mind that Ohio has the 5th and 6th highest number of gonorrhea and chlamydia diagnoses in the country, respectively, and was ranked 12th nationwide in the number of HIV diagnoses.
Blocking care at Planned Parenthood has very real and devastating consequences for the communities served. Here's what just two Planned Parenthood patients in Ohio have said:
What's more, Planned Parenthood health centers serve an outsized role in meeting the health care needs of those who rely on federally funded health programs. More than half of Planned Parenthood's health centers across the U.S. are in rural or medically underserved areas, meaning that often without Planned Parenthood, patients would have nowhere else to turn for reproductive health care.
What's happened in Ohio under Governor Kasich is hardly an anomaly. Since the now-indicted anti-abortion extremists released their blatant attack videos last July, we've faced an unprecedented number of attacks on reproductive rights at the state level. In at least 24 states, politicians have used lies and misinformation to threaten patient care at Planned Parenthood health centers, including:
- Arizona, where the legislature just passed a dangerous bill to block access to birth control, cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests, and other critical care for thousands of Medicaid patients who rely on Planned Parenthood — just weeks after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released an official statement saying the move would violate federal law.
- Florida, where extreme lawmakers passed a bill that blocks access to STI screenings and treatment, cancer screenings, and birth control.
- Louisiana, where six different anti-abortion measures are being pushed through the legislature this week, including efforts to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
- Missouri, where the legislature's continued attacks on reproductive health care have gone so far as to recklessly reject $8 million in federal family planning funds, targeting thousands of patients' right to choose Planned Parenthood as a provider. This means many Medicaid patients could be left without access to care.
Abortion access, affordable birth control, basics like STI and cancer screenings — this is fundamental health care for millions of Americans. We can't let lawmakers continue to trample on our rights to score cheap political points, or put lives at risk based on bad science and outright lies.
John Kasich's policies are hurting Ohio women — so we're taking him to court. No matter where, no matter what, we're fighting back against politicians trying to undermine women’s health and rights.