The John Kasich Show (What Counts)

Gov. John Kasich (R-OH; second from right), celebrates after signing a budget, 1 July 2013.  The controversial budget contained several anti-abortion measures intended to bureaucratically outlaw the practice.  (Detail of frame from video by Ohio Capitol Blog, via The Rachel Maddow Show.)

“I’m willing to fight all day long, but you’ve got to have a good prospect of being able to be successful. Because if you’re not successful, you shut the government down, you open it up and you haven’t achieved anything. You’re just going to have people shake their head and wonder what your thinking was.”

Gov. John Kasich (R-OH)

Remember, though, this is John Kasich we’re talking about, here. The takeaway from Jennifer Bendery’s report for Huffington Post is that Mr. Kasich is giving his colleagues sound strategic advice. That is to say, we should not let this or his recent sound bite about Kim Davis suggest he is any sort of moderate.

There is, for instance, abortibudget. As Rachel Maddow explained a couple years ago, and nobody really ever should forget:

So without debate, without any Republican public comment on the matter whatsoever, the great state of Ohio, as of about last night, dinnertime, Ohio got a ton of new really radical changes in its laws that are all about rape―rape and abortion.

Ohio Republicans stuffed into the budget a gag order for rape counselors. So, if you’re counseling a rape victim, you will have public funding yanked from your rape crisis center if you let the rape victim know that she can have an abortion if the rape made her pregnant. It’s a gag order. You can’t say that anymore or else you’ll lose your funding.

Also on the budget, Ohio Republicans basically defunded Planned Parenthood clinics. If you want to get an abortion in Ohio, the budget just passed by Ohio Republicans and signed by John Kasich will mandate you get an ultrasound by order of the state which is a fine thing to have if you want one and your doctors want you to have it. But it’s a whole different idea because John Kasich says you have to have one, even if you don’t want it or your doctor doesn’t want you to have it. It’s mandatory now.

Ohio Republicans will make you have it and they will make you pay for it, too. Ohio Republicans also wrote into the budget a requirement that Ohio doctors give you a speech about that forced ultrasound, regardless of whether the doctor agrees with the speech or thinks it is good information to give you.

Ohio Republicans added all of that to the budget, to the nuts and bolts spending plan for the great state of Ohio. Now it has a special focus on the human uterus. For one part of the budget, Ohio Republicans even wrote in a new requirement that any clinic in the state that provides abortions has to have a transfer agreement with local hospitals.

Then in the next breath, they banned Ohio public hospitals from making those transfer agreements with the clinics. So, the clinics would get a new thing that they have to have and also they cannot happen.

Ohio Republicans and John Kasich also in the budget decided to redefine the word “pregnancy” in that state. Now by decree, from Republican Governor John Kasich and the Republicans in the Ohio state legislature, your pregnancy begins even before implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine lining.

Since several forms of popular birth control work by stopping implantation in the uterine lining, the Ohio state budget now essentially says, hey, you want an IUD or want to be on birth control pills? That means you want an abortion. And now, of course, there’s a mandatory ultrasound before you can do that, followed by the speech from your doctor that your doctor doesn’t have a choice about.

I mean, under this bill, under the letter of this new law, Ohio women might conceivably need to get a mandatory ultrasound by order of the state just so you can keep your birth control pills. The birth control, the IUD, the birth control pill you’ve been on forever, now mandatory ultrasound? That’s how the law is written.

Nobody knows for sure if they really freaking mean that or if they have considered that implication of the change in the definition of the word “pregnancy” that they put in the state budget. Nobody knows if that’s what they really meant because they never debated it. Never came up. There was no debate. So, nobody got to ask questions. Nobody ever had to explain themselves.

Ohio Republicans just passed it silently and sent it to Governor John Kasich. The governor had until midnight last night, midnight, Sunday, to X out rape and abortion laws he wanted to X out. He has a line item veto, could have taken any of them out of the budget. He used the line-item veto 22 times yesterday, including vetoing part of budget that involves owning spider monkeys.

He thought the spider monkeys provision was an outrageous step backwards for the residents of Ohio, but the abortion stuff, all of it, including redefining pregnancy in biological terms new to Ohio, all of it stayed in the budget. John Kasich said yes to all of it.

This is something worth remembering when we start hearing more about John Kasich the moderate: Abortibudget.


Image note: Gov. John Kasich (R-OH; second from right), celebrates after signing a budget, 1 July 2013. The controversial budget contained several anti-abortion measures intended to bureaucratically outlaw the practice. (Detail of frame from video by Ohio Capitol Blog, via The Rachel Maddow Show.)

Bendery, Jennifer. “John Kasich Points Out The Idiocy Of Shutting Down The Government Over Planned Parenthood”. The Huffington Post. 13 September 2015.

Maddow, Rachel. “GOP sneak tactic gives Ohio new anti-abortion laws with new budget”. The Rachel Maddow Show. msnbc. 1 July 2013.


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