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Health and Medicine

Ohio Senate budget could shut down abortion clinics
Budget could also divert funds to programs run by anti-abortion groups

Karen Kasler
In The Region:
Buried in the Senate version of the budget are many things that seemingly have nothing to do with state spending. Two of them are related to abortion.

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The Senate budget would require all ambulatory surgical centers to have transfer agreements with hospitals, but it bans transfer agreements from abortion clinics to public hospitals. Kellie Copeland from NARAL Pro Choice Ohio says the Ohio Department of Health can close clinics that do not have transfer agreements.

“This is about paperwork," Copeland says. "If they can't make abortion illegal, they can make it virtually impossible to access by closing every clinic they can gets their hands on.”

But that is not how Mike Gonidakis with Ohio Right to Life sees it.

“What we’re seeing here is the abortion industry trying to cause a stir and create a problem where none exists in order to not be regulated," Gonidakis says. "They don’t want to be regulated, and this legislation will do this.”

The Senate budget also would divert some federal temporary aid to needy families funds to programs run by crisis pregnancy centers that are often operated by anti-abortion groups.

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