“Yes, John Kasich is truly ‘brave’ to stand up against the women, mothers and infants whose health care he’s cutting.”
Washington, D.C. – After national attention on Kasich’s long record of decimating health care for the women of Ohio, last night, John Kasich doubled down on his plan to sign legislation that would block access to basic health care, including infant mortality, domestic violence, and HIV prevention programs for thousands of Ohioans.
View the tweet here: https://twitter.com/JohnKasich/status/697560031202508800
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“Yes, John Kasich is truly ‘brave’ to stand up against the women, mothers and infants whose health care he’s cutting.
“Thanks to the national spotlight, John Kasich can no longer hide his extreme agenda from the American people. Kasich has enacted 17 measures to restrict women’s health in Ohio --- shuttering nearly half the abortion providers in the state. Kasich is doubling down on signing an extreme -- and dangerous -- piece of legislation that would eliminate programs to prevent infant mortality, domestic violence, and the testing and treatment of HIV. Kasich might seem reasonable when compared to demagogues like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, but don’t be fooled --- he has an extreme agenda to slash women’s access to health care, and has the record in Ohio to prove it.”
Yesterday, the Ohio State legislature sent a bill to John Kasich’s desk that would block access to care at Planned Parenthood for thousands of Ohioans --- eliminating programs that provide STI testing, infant mortality prevention and sex education to Ohioans, and sparking protests just after passage. As Progress Ohio and Toldeo Blade reported, “As the vote was announced, several spectators shouted, ‘Shame! Shame! Shame’ before being ushered from the chamber.” Another reporter tweeted that the Ohio Channel was forced to cut off their live feed as protests took place.
What is Kasich About to Sign?
If it becomes law, this bill would target Planned Parenthood programs that, in the last year, provided over 47,000 STD tests, more than 3,600 HIV tests, and served nearly 2,800 new or expectant mothers through “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies” – a program that aims to prevent infant mortality, given Ohio has the third highest infant mortality rates for African Americans in the nation. The bill would also block access to lifesaving cancer screenings, domestic violence education through the Violence Against Women Act, and much-needed sex education for youth in foster care and the juvenile detention system. Public health departments have also raised major concerns with this bill.
“If Planned Parenthood goes away as a provider, there will be a void of services in our community, and we don’t have the capacity to fill that void,” said Kelli Arthur Hykes, the health policy director for the department of health in Columbus. Politicians have claimed that Planned Parenthood patients can go to food banks and dentists for STD and HIV tests.
Kasich has a long track record of advancing an extremist, anti-abortion agenda and has quietly enacted 17 measures to restrict access to reproductive health care. Under Kasich’s watch, Ohio has shuttered nearly half of the abortion providers across the state, and even blocked funding for rape crisis centers just for referring survivors of sexual assault to abortion providers. Kasich is now ready to sign a bill that eliminates infant mortality, domestic violence, and HIV prevention programs --- all in the name of his vindictive campaign to eliminate essential care at Planned Parenthood health centers.