June 29, 2021
Contact: Meg DeBlase

Ohio’s Budget Defends Life and Faith

Provides protections for conscience and
upholds protections for women

(Cincinnati, OH) - Late last night, the Ohio General Assembly agreed to the provisions of Ohio’s two year operating budget for the fiscal years 2022-2023. The Senate voted 32-1 to accept the report of the Committee of Conference on Substitute House Bill 110, the budget bill for the 134th General Assembly, with the House later accepting the report on a vote of 82-13. The measure will now go to Governor Mike DeWine, who has until July 1st to sign the measure. 

Included among those provisions were those which will have positive impacts for life and liberty. The Assembly agreed to provisions to clarify the requirements for an ambulatory surgical facility which seeks a variance from the hospital transfer agreement requirements under law. With the new provisions, a physician who signs for such a variance must meet certain requirements regarding their teaching capacity and have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 25 mile radius of the ambulatory surgical facility. It is possible this provision will affect the Christ hospital doctors who act as 'backup' physicians for Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio.

“It is a very important addition to Ohio law to make sure that we are doing everything we can to protect the health of women who are injured by abortion” noted Meg DeBlase, Executive Director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati. “We are pleased with the work our elected officials have done to make sure that women are going to be cared for by local hospitals and local doctors when an adverse outcome happens for them at an abortion facility.”

Another key policy addition is language that will protect the rights of conscience of medical providers, facilities and payers to be able to decline to participate in procedures that violate moral, ethical or religious beliefs of conscience. “We have numerous stories of medical professionals, especially nurses, who have been required to participate in certain medical procedures that trouble their conscience or go against the teachings of their faith,” DeBlase added. “We believe that this is a fair accommodation, as it allows the provider to decline to participate in such procedures, but also notes that the patient will be notified and provided the opportunity to have another provider perform the service.”

Furthermore, funds are being directed to help support local programming directed to maternal health and support for pregnant mothers, funding to strengthen character-based sexual risk avoidance education programs in our schools, and to expand the successful Parenting and Pregnancy Program in Ohio.

“This is a very good budget, and we applaud our local and state officials for bringing this together," continued DeBlase. "We look forward to Governor DeWine’s signature on these important provisions.”