John Kasich has been hailed as the “moderate,” sane figure in the Republican Party, particularly in comparison to the ridiculous circus of other Republican presidential candidates. Unfortunately, he just proved he’s as bad as the rest after signing a bill that defunded Planned Parenthood in Ohio.
According to the Associated Press, the bill “targets the roughly $1.3 million in funding that Planned Parenthood receives through Ohio’s health department…The legislation prohibits such funds from going to entities that perform or promote abortions, their affiliates and those that contract with an entity that performs abortions.”
Although Planned Parenthood is not specified as one of these entities, it is the main organization that will be affected due to the legislation. However, many of the federal funds directed to Planned Parenthood do not go toward abortion but, “[support] HIV testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and prevention of violence against women.” Women who rely on Planned Parenthood for these issues can no longer do so.
The fight to defund Planned Parenthood based on abortion is nonsensical—the Hyde Amendment, which passed in 1976, prohibits federal funds to be directed toward abortion. So whatever money Planned Parenthood was receiving from the government, it was being used solely for testing, education, and screenings.
If you’re aware of Kasich’s record when it comes to women’s health, this move is not surprising in the least. Kasich has “signed every abortion and women’s reproductive health provision that has landed on his desk” since becoming Ohio’s governor, as FiveThirtyEight reports. He has also fought against providing paid maternity leave.
The fact that this hard-right stance on abortion and women’s health is considered “moderate” in the current GOP field speaks to how low the bar has dropped.
Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Ohio, put it succinctly: “Kasich hides behind a moderate mask, but the truth is he has been quietly working behind the scenes to impose his radical personal views on Ohioans.”
If you want further evidence that Kasich has no respect for women, he just told a town hall in Virginia that he initially won election as governor due to women who "left their kitchens to go out and go door to door and put yard signs up for me." For Kasich, a woman's natural position seems to be in the home.
Yet when the topic of abortion comes up during interviews, Kasich is evasive and noncommittal. He states that he is “pro-life,” just as many other Republicans, but never details exactly how much damage he has done to the women of Ohio.
Perhaps he doesn’t want to tarnish his carefully constructed image of a “moderate,” but, as Marco Rubio would say, let us dispel with that fiction: Kasich is no moderate.
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