Budget to Increase Resources to Pregnant Women and Hold Abortion Facilities Accountable
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Katherine Franklin
DATE: Thursday, June 25, 2015 PHONE: (614) 547-0099 ext. 304
COLUMBUS, Ohio--Last night, the 2016-2017 State Budget passed Conference Committee with several pro-life measures that will increase resources to women in crisis pregnancies and hold abortion facilities accountable.
Working with pro-life legislators, Ohio Right to Life spearheaded the efforts to support the work of life-affirming pregnancy centers across the state and to build upon current regulations for ambulatory surgical facilities.
While we are fortunate to have pro-life super majorities in both the House and Senate, we would not have been able to accomplish our goals in the state budget without the leadership of State Senator Larry Obhof," said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. "It is with great respect and gratitude, that we highlight his efforts on behalf of the unborn and we ask our statewide membership to join us in thanking him for everything he has done. Without Senator Obhof's uncompromising support and dedication to our mission, Ohio Right to Life simply could not have secured these pro-life budget amendments."
Pro-life measures that were added to the budget include: 1.) an amendment to define "local" following an abortion facility's attempt to enter into a contract with an out-of-state hospital in order to stay open; and 2.) a requirement that the Ohio Department of Health respond to a facility's license application in reasonable time. Failure to approve the application within that time will result in the facility's closure. The first could affect the last abortion facility in Toledo, Capital Care Network, which has remained open for almost a year following an order to close from the Ohio Department of Health. Last week, a Toledo judge ruled that the facility could remain open, determining that the 50 mile distance between the clinic and a Michigan hospital was acceptable for a transfer agreement. The second could affect Women's Med Center in Kettering, an abortion facility whose variance request has been pending for over a year.
The Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program, an initiative started in 2013, offers funding to Ohio's more than 140 pregnancy centers that offer free resources and parenting classes to mothers and fathers alike. Statewide, they outnumber abortion facilities by a ratio of 18:1.
"It's crucial that we empower pregnant women and support pregnancy help centers as our state gravitates further away from abortion-on-demand," said Krider. "At the same time, we need to ensure that our state bureaucracy is clear, transparent, efficient when it comes to making sure abortion facilities have met some of the most basic health and safety standards on the books."
Ohio Right to Life thanks the pro-life leadership of the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives for their diligent work on these amendments.
Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 45 chapters and local affiliates, is Ohio's oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death.