Ohio Democrats are taking Republicans to task over measures inserted into the state budget that would regulate women’s access to abortions.
One measure requires doctors to perform ultrasounds on women considering having abortions, to see if there’s a fetal heartbeat. Another measure puts Planned Parenthood at the end of the line for federal funding. The budget also prevents rape crisis programs from counseling women on abortions or referring them to abortion providers.
Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, who is running for governor against John Kasich, criticized the rules.
“The fact that some politician would be regulating or restricting the type of advice they could get from a rape crisis counselor is just unspeakable to me," he said. "It’s just outrageous. What are they thinking? Why are they doing this? What problem is that addressing?”
Democrats say they will redouble their efforts to unseat Republicans in the 2014 elections, in order to roll back the new rules.
In response, the Ohio Republican Party pointed out that Democrats supported a standalone bill containing similar language related to rape crisis centers. According to the Associated Press, Ohio Democratic Party chairman Chris Redfern said Democrats believed that language was going to be removed.