The Ohio House passed a bill (68-25) on Thursday to codify several longstanding limitations on using public funds for poor women seeking abortions, as well as abortion counseling and referrals. The limitations are currently in place as executive orders, which could be changed or reversed by incoming Governor Ted Strickland, a pro-choice Democrat, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty (D) decried the bill for cutting off funds to clinics that, in addition to providing abortions or abortion referrals, also provide treatment for sexually transmitted infections and other reproductive health care, according to the Toledo Blade. She also criticized the bill for not allowing exceptions for poor women seeking abortions for mental or physical health reasons. “If a woman’s pregnancy is a threat to a woman’s mental health, she is out of luck,” Beatty said, according to the Plain Dealer. “If a woman’s pregnancy is a threat to her physical health, and would even leave her disabled, that is too bad. This bill shows no mercy for women in any kind of desperate situation.”