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Ohio Gov. Kasich signs budget with abortion restrictions

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Sunday signed into law a new state budget that includes provisions requiring abortion providers to attempt to detect a fetal heartbeart and will likely cut funding for Planned Parenthood.

The two year budget, passed by the GOP-led state legislature, represents the latest successful effort by Republicans to scale back abortion rights at the state level. In several other states, Republicans have shrunk the window during which women can obtain abortions and/or required them to undergo ultrasounds.

The Ohio bill will require the abortion provider to attempt to find a fetal heartbeat and inform the woman if there is one.

It would also move Planned Parenthood to the back of the line when it comes to family-planning funds, behind providers that don't perform abortions. The practical effect is likely to be a loss of a significant amount of its current funding.

Abortion rights supporters had urged Kasich to veto the abortion provisions -- Ohio allows a governor a line-item veto -- but the governor declined to do so.

He did veto language in the bill that would prevent him from moving forward with the federal Medicaid expansion. Kasich said he wanted to allow himself flexibility in dealing with the expansion -- an issue that has split Republican governors across the country.

Kasich, who had a rough time early in his tenure, has recovered in a big way and now ranks among the more popular governors in the country. He is favored to win reelection next year and is even being mentioned as a potential presidential candidate.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



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