House Bill 79, which would prohibit insurance plans participating in a yet-to-be created state health exchange or marketplace from providing abortion coverage, was among 13 bills Kasich signed this morning. They were passed last week during the legislature’s final session days of 2011.
“Ohio is witnessing historic gains in legislation that protects mothers and saves unborn babies," said Mike Gonidakis, executive director for Ohio Right to Life.
The new federal health-care law requires states to have an exchange in place by 2014 to give consumers and small businesses a place to shop and compare policies. Gonidakis said the federal health-care law allows states to opt out of abortion coverage.
Ahh, but there's a catch: the ACLU is eager to challenge the law, based on Issue 3 that passed in the state last month:
But the ACLU of Ohio has said the constitutional amendment that Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved last month was a message in opposition to the mandated insurance provisions of the federal health-care law and can now be used to block measures to restrict abortion access.
Issue 3 says that no state law shall "prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance" or "impose a penalty for the sale or purchase or health care or insurance."
In other words, the same legal mumbo-jumbo that Kasich and the GOP used to "eliminate" the individual insurance mandate is now the same legislation that the ACLU will use to fight this anti-abortion measure.
And make no mistake, this is a bill that will eliminate insurance providers from covering abortions, making them all but unaffordable to women. That's the point...and there's probably going to be a number of court battles in states over this as well as a Supreme Court fight eventually.
Let's keep in mind the GOP plan is to have as many blatantly unconstitutional bans on abortion as possible to make it de facto unavailable for any woman. After all, court battles can take far longer than pregnancies.
So women of Ohio, what do you plan to do about the Republicans in November?