The two-year budget passed by the Ohio Legislature contains further restrictions on abortion, increases penalties for protestors, and exempts medical professionals from treating people who they disagree with on moral grounds. Those provisions are drawing criticism from some groups.
The morning after the Ohio Legislature passed its two-year state budget, people stood outside the Ohio Statehouse, protesting elements of it they say are harmful to women and minorities.
Jasmine Henderson is with the Ohio Women’s Alliance. She minces no words when talking about majority Republicans who pushed the budget she says will hurt women, LGBTQ people and minority populations.
“The GOP legislature – you should be ashamed of yourselves. I hope you have problems sleeping at night. And I hope all of the violent things you have done that you think are based in morality – I hope that they eat your soul at night," Henderson said.
NARAL ProChoice Ohio, The ACLU of Ohio, Planned Parenthood of SW Ohio, the Ohio Religious Coalitiion for Reproductive Choice, Women Have Options, SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change and Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity were some of the groups who protested at the Statehouse just hours after lawmakers passed the budget.
As protestors were protesting outside the Statehouse, Ohio Right to Life was thanking lawmakers for passing legislation the group supports. The organization issued a written statement, praising lawmakers for including $6 million for an abstinence focused pregnancy prevention program and funding for pregnancy centers that don't talk to patients about abortion options. The group also liked the part of the bill that allow doctors to opt out of providing medical care when they find doing so is morally objectionable.
This budget got overwhelming bipartisan support. Gov. Mike DeWine will decide by Wednesday which lines in the budget he will veto – if any.