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TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Erica Sackin, Political Communications Director, Planned Parenthood Action Fund
DATE: Thursday, November 5, 2015
RE: Memo to #CondescendingKasich: Women don’t just think about dieting and Taylor Swift


Presidential Candidate John Kasich, known for his condescending attitude toward women, caused a stir again this week when he implied a woman could only understand a balanced budget by comparing it to dieting. As Mic reported, while discussing the fiscal responsibilities of elected officials at a campaign event in Dubuque, IA, Kasich singled out a woman in the audience and asked her, "Have you ever been on a diet?"

This dismissive remark comes on the heels of another blatantly offensive exchange he had with a young University of Richmond student, Kayla Solsbak, who was exercising her civic duty by asking Kasich a question about his policies.  When calling on her, Kasich said, “I’m sorry, I don’t have any tickets for  Taylor Swift or anything.”Here’s the video.

This may be news to #CondescendingKasich, but women care about more than just dieting or Taylor Swift.

For instance, women care about the policies Kasich has been pushing as governor in Ohio --- policies that have left women’s access to health care decimated across the state. He’s enacted 17 dangerous, anti-women’s health measures as governor of Ohio --- drastically decreasing women’s access to safe and legal abortion and to reproductive health care. Under his watch,Ohio has shuttered more abortionproviders than any other state but Texas. Kasich has appointed anti-abortion extremists to oversee Ohio’s health care agency, enacted laws that subject women to forced ultrasounds, and he even voted against women having access to birth control.

Women also care about what Kasich is trying to do in Ohio right now --- advocating for a bill to cut thousands of low-income Ohioans from essential reproductive health care like STI testing and lifesaving cancer screenings.  He is also looking for ways to cut off Medicaid patients’ access to Planned Parenthood.

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

“We may as well crown Kasich the King of Condescension. Does he think that if he waves a shiny object in front of women they won’t notice his policies would leave them utterly devastated? Kasich has been working to wipe out access to safe and legal abortion across the entire state of Ohio. He supports subjecting women to forced ultrasounds, and cutting off their access to birth control --- and that won’t change no matter how many times he brings up dieting or Taylor Swift.”

FACT CHECK: #CondescendingKasich is extreme on women’s health

FACT: Gov. John Kasich wants to block medicaid patients’ access to reproductive health care.   

Kasich not only supports Ohio’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood programs,he wants to go even further. Kasich said at a townhall meeting in New Hampshire that he was looking into how his administration could cut even more funding to Planned Parenthood by taking away Medicaid funding, a move that theObama administration has warned could be in violation of federal law.

FACT: Ohio women’s access to health care drastically shrank under Gov. Kasich

  • Mother Jones: “...in 2013 he signed the state's 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. The measures have had drastic consequences for access to abortion and medical care for Ohio women.”

  • The Guardian: Since Kasich has been in the governor’s office, abortion clinics have come under ever tighter regulation in a series of incremental attacks.  “When one thing fails to work, they try something else,” Lawson said.  The legislature has used bureaucratic red tape to construct hurdles that threaten the clinics with closure – a process known as “targeted regulation of abortion providers”, or Trap.  First, the state imposed a requirement that all abortion clinics enter into “written transfer agreements” with local hospitals, so that any woman falling into medical difficulties during an abortion could be admitted for emergency treatment.  There is no practical medical purpose for the imposition of such an agreement.

FACT: Under Gov. Kasich’s administration, many abortion providers across the state have closed.

  • Toledo Blade: “But the law had the effect of shutting down nearly half of Ohio’s abortion clinics, which is exactly what lawmakers intended it to do. Many abortion providers can’t get transfer agreements because hospitals face intense pressure from anti-abortion activists to deny them.”

  • New Republic: Ohio’s new legislative push comes on the heels of a string of victories for anti-abortion activists during Kasich's tenure. The state’s 2013 budget included newly tightened regulations that made it difficult for clinics to remain open. Five abortion clinics have been shuttered in Ohio since that budget passed, reducing the total number of abortion providers in the state from 14 to nine. That’s why Ohio Right to Life has called Kasich “the most successful pro-life governor we’ve ever had."

  • Think Progress: “In terms of the areas where high number of clinics have recently been shuttered, Ohio ranks second only to Texas. And Ohio isn’t stopping there. Aside from the proposed budget, lawmakers have also been advancing a 20-week abortion ban; the state senate approved that legislation just last week. For years, reproductive rights groups have been warning that Ohio is becoming one of the worst states for abortion access. At the end of last week, the Plain Dealer’s editorial board also sounded the alarm: “These draconian rules aimed at closing Ohio’s abortion clinics appear to be a thinly veiled effort to get before the U.S. Supreme Court a challenge to Roe v. Wade, the case that legalized abortion,” the newspaper wrote in reference to the proposed budget bill.”

FACT: Kasich ignored pleas of Ohio women who want access to reproductive health care.

Ignoring the calls of Planned Parenthood patients and supporters to maintain state funding for Planned Parenthood, the Ohio State Senate approved a bill that would stop about $1.3 million in state funds from going to Planned Parenthood health centers in the state.

The Ohio Senate president and the bill’s sponsor said that the “bill is not about women’s health care.” True, his reason for introducing the bill was not about women’s health care --- it was about pandering to anti-abortion extremists who want to ban safe and legal abortion. However, the effects of this bill has everything to do with women’s healthcare:


  • WBNS-TV: “A personal plea drenched in pink took over the statehouse floor Wednesday as supporters of Planned Parenthood asked Ohio Senate leaders to vote against a bill that would strip the non-profit of $1.3 million. ‘I felt like they were trying to silence us, Brianne Cain said....‘I'm a student full time and I need access to birth control. I need to be able to get pap-smears,’ Cain said. ‘Without Planned Parenthood, I don't know where I would get those services. And if I could afford that.’”

  • New Republic: “Opponents of the Ohio bill are particularly concerned about the funds for Planned Parenthood’s infant mortality prevention programs; the state has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the country. ‘I know it seems like a smaller dollar amount, but we’re talking about really the most vulnerable population.’”

  • Toledo Blade: “Sen. Edna Brown (D., Toledo), a no vote, said she was disappointed that she was the only woman on the 12-member Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee that voted along party lines to send the bill to the full Senate. She also noted that opponents of the bill Wednesday were limited to two minutes of committee testimony. ‘There is no one — no one — but Planned Parenthood providing many of these programs in poor and African-American communities,’ she said.”


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