Ohio Protestors Rally Against Anti-Abortion Budget

Reproductive rights of Ohio's women hangs on pro-life governor John Kasich's decision.

Photo Credit: Alexander Smith

Pro-choice advocates rallied outside the Ohio Statehouse today as the state’s General Assembly plans to votes on a budget that’s fraught with anti-abortion provisions, the Associated Press reports.

The protestors, organized by the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, oppose budget provisions that would defund Planned Parenthood and restrict abortion clinics. They also oppose a last-minute measure that would require doctors to check for a fetal heartbeat before performing abortions, and to inform women a fetus’ statistical likelihood of surviving to full term.

As the budget already passed a Republican-controlled conference committee, it’s up to Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) to decide if the anti-abortion measures go through. The governor, who has a considerable anti-abortion record, could use a line-item veto to eliminate provisions in question.

“Let me make it clear, I will examine the language keeping in mind the fact that I am pro-life, period,” Kasich told reporters.

The protestors hope to ride on the momentum from rallies in Texas this week that culminated with a dramatic filibuster by State Sen. Wendy Davis (D), which lasted 11 hours, captivated the nation, and succeeded in killing a draconian anti-abortion bill.

“Texas lit a fuse,” said Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner (D) at the rally. According to the Columbus Dispatch, a crowd of about 100 wearing pink and read gathered outside the statehouse, chanting “line-item veto.” A “handful” of Anti-choice advocates held a counter rally, displaying signs with graphic images of aborted fetuses. 

Steven Hsieh is an editorial assistant at AlterNet and writer based in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @stevenjhsieh.