Kasich Signs Bill to Exclude Abortion Coverage
“Surely there are better ways to spend taxpayer dollars than defending unconstitutional legislation in court,” Kellie Copeland, NARAL Executive Director stated.
Copeland’s statement came in response to House Bill 79, signed by Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday, Dec. 21, which excludes coverage for abortions via the federally mandated “state exchange” under the Patient Protection and Affordability Act. This state exchange makes it possible for businesses and taxpayers to buy insurance and compare policies and premiums.
The Affordable Care Act, the federal health care law signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, leaves room for individual states to opt out of paying for abortions to protect the conscience rights of taxpayers.
In November 2010, there was a majority vote of “yes” on Issue 3 in Ohio, which pro-life supporters saw as preservation of their freedom to choose health care coverage free of abortion funding and health care rationing.
“It is appalling that Governor Kasich signed (HB 79), which clearly violates the Ohio Constitution, into law,” Copeland said.
Issue 3 stated, “No law should prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance.” HB 79 bans Ohioans from being able to purchase insurance through the exchange that includes abortion coverage — even if they pay the premium entirely with their own money.
“Politicians should never be allowed to limit the kinds of insurance benefits that women are allowed to purchase with their own money,” Copeland said. “All women deserve the same peace of mind that they can obtain the health care they need, regardless of where their insurance comes from.”
In response to this, Mike Gonidakis, Executive Director for Ohio Right to Life stated, “While we can all agree that people should have access to health care, we reject the notion that abortion is health care because the only measure of ‘success’ of an abortion procedure is the death of an innocent child.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio pledged to challenge HB 79 in court to voice concerns for citizens who cannot afford private health care to maintain access to these procedures.
HB 79 marks the seventh anti-choice measure enacted by Kasich in 2011 alone. Nationally, states have enacted 67 anti-choice laws so far in 2011 according to prochoice.org. That is the second highest number since 1995.