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Leaked Emails Show Kasich Administration Covered Up Their Involvement in Extreme and Cruel Anti-Abortion Provisions


Washington, DC -- Internal emails obtained by the Associated Press show Governor John Kasich and his administration secretly worked to craft provisions that would ban access to safe, legal abortion in Ohio. While Kasich has been public about his anti-abortion stance, he has distanced himself from Ohio’s increasingly severe restrictions on abortion --- restrictions that have led to the shuttering of over on one-third of Ohio’s health centers that provide abortion.

This revelation comes days after the Supreme Court decided to review a decision upholding restrictions that would further devastate access to safe, legal abortion in Texas.

The emails show that despite the Governor’s public posturing, Kasich aides in fact helped mastermind the restrictions --- working with Ohio Right to Life and the Ohio State Legislature to develop the strong anti-abortion language that was included in Kasich’s 2013 budget and has since passed into law.

Though John Kasich has avoided discussing this part of his record on the campaign trail, he has helped decimate women’s access to health care as governor --- shuttering abortion providers across the state (see animated map here), appointing anti-abortion extremists to oversee the state’s health care agency, subjecting women to forced ultrasounds, and withholding funds from rape crisis counseling organizations that  discuss abortion as one of the many options for rape victims. Many of his provisions have been enacted in incremental steps --- intended to make no one measure appear extreme, however the cumulative effect of all restrictions taken together is devastating.

Statement from Dawn Laguens, Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“John Kasich is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He has been lying and sneaking around behind the scenes, acting as the puppet-master to craft some of the most devastating restrictions on abortion in the country. He knows the majority of Ohioans, and the majority of Americans, oppose his extreme views on women’s health --- which is why he’s been knowingly misleading his constituents about his true intentions. Now Kasich wants to take his underhanded agenda to the national stage. Make no mistake about it --- Kasich has been dangerous for the women and men in Ohio, and would be devastating for the rest of America.”

The Ohio State House and Senate have both passed legislation to cut access to care at Planned Parenthood --- despite over 80,000 of his constituents relying on the health care provider for STI and HIV testing, sex education programs, and lifesaving cancer screenings.  The bill specifically targets funding for the “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies” program that aims to prevent infant mortality --- despite the fact that Ohio has thehighest infant mortality rates for African Americans in the nation --- and funding to educate women about healthy relationships and domestic violence through the Violence Against Women Act. At any moment, either body could act and send this bill to Kasich’s desk.

Statement from Stephanie Kight, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio:

"This administration has been relentless in their attacks against women and access to reproductive health care. The fact that deceptive tactics were used to push these laws through the legislature are shameful but not surprising, considering the behavior we have seen in the past. These leaders are willing to play games with the well-being of some of our most vulnerable citizens to score political points --- and John Kasich is leading the charge."

Kasich has tried has intentionally tried to hide his extreme record on women’s health because it is so out of touch with Ohioans and the American people.  Over 60 percent of Ohioans oppose defunding Planned Parenthood’s preventive health services and 13 national polls have shown the nation supports Planned Parenthood.  A recent Bloomberg Politics national poll found that 67% of Americans surveyed said Supreme Court was right to rule that women have a constitutional right to abortion.