Before leaving his office as Ohio Governor, Bob Taft (R) last Thursday signed House Bill 239, which officially declares the state’s preference for childbirth over abortion and prohibits the use of public funding to subsidize abortion for poor women. The bill, which was introduced in May 2005, was sent to former Governor Taft on December 27, 2006, just less than two weeks before he would be replaced by Democratic Governor Ted Strickland, who was sworn in today. Strickland would have opposed the legislation, according to Keith Dailey, the governor’s spokesman who said Strickland “would not have supported this bill. He believes in a woman’s right to choose, and does not believe that a poor woman should be deprived of access to a legal medical procedure because she’s poor,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
The bill was the only one out of three anti-abortion legislative initiatives to pass in Ohio; both House Bill 228, which would have banned abortion without exception and criminalized crossing state lines to obtain an abortion, and House Bill 469, which would have authorized a pharmacist to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control or emergency contraception, failed.
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