While pro-choice groups claim to be losing access to abortion, pro-life Ohioans are rejoicing at the access to health care women and children gained with the Senate's recent passage of the budget.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio's asking where women will turn if they don't have abortion clinics. The answers are simple: Pregnancy Help Centers, local health districts, and the 180 Community Health Center clinics in Ohio that the Senate prioritized for the state's family planning funding. The same centers to which over half a million women turned in 2011.
One of NARAL's main contentions is with a law that bans public, taxpayer-funded hospitals from having transfer agreements with abortion clinics. Without the ability to transfer patients to a hospital, an abortion clinic is not allowed to operate.
Why should American tax dollars sustain an abortion clinic, directly or indirectly? A recent Gallup Poll demonstrated that nearly 60 percent of Americans are pro-life. Do their First Amendment conscience rights not matter to NARAL? Or do they just want abortion at any cost-including the cost of a constitutional right?
Sadly, abortion is still legal. If a private hospital wants to provide an abortion clinic with a transfer agreement, that too is still legal. Many private hospitals are religious and pro-life-but they are freely so, not by compulsion. That fact does not mean that public hospitals are an open battlefield on which First Amendment rights can be assaulted by pro-choice advocates.
At the end of the day, women have plenty of life-giving options, and thanks to the Senate, their opportunity to access those options just increased.
Michael Gonidakis, president
Ohio Right to Life