Abortion policy doesn’t belong in state budget

SKS staff

The state budget is no longer a spending plan; it’s a platform for political policy. More and more, the biennial budget has become one big political agenda that sneaks in legislation that may otherwise have been squashed in the House or the Senate.

We feel a time and a place exists for policy to make an appearance, especially policy on something as controversial as abortion.

The “heartbeat” anti-abortion bill passed in the House June 28. HB 125 states a mother cannot abort her fetus once a heartbeat can be detected. Often, a heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into the pregnancy — before many women even realize they’re pregnant.

But as debate continues on the legislation that would overturn Roe v. Wade in the state, Gov. John Kasich also signed another important piece of legislation into law.

A portion of the state budget prohibits publicly funded facilities from performing elective abortions. A second piece prohibits some local governments from purchasing health insurance that covers abortions for employees.

The world is an imperfect place. Not every woman who can conceive, or successfully does conceive, is meant to have a child. Whether it’s because of maturity, economic means or a bad home life, sometimes a woman decides she cannot bring a child into the world.

Anti-abortion activists make the argument that they’re fighting for the life of every unborn child who cannot fight for itself. Whether it’s for personal reasons or religious beliefs, these activists believe they are doing the fetus a solid by treating its mother as some reluctant incubator.

However, we cannot help but wonder whether these anti-abortion lobbyists will continue to look after the well-being of every saved child after it is born.

What if the child, being from a poor economic background, eventually becomes a ward of the state, or a beneficiary of welfare? What if the child is born with a difficult medical condition; would the activists suddenly support public health care?

Eventually, the same people who fought for that child’s life would become the very people who would fight against giving them a better life through social or economic assistance.

In Ohio, the anti-abortion debate is considered a Republican agenda. But then again, so is small government that cuts welfare programs or other public aid.

Republicans put legislation like this in a budget bill as part of an agenda based on religious or conservative beliefs. At the same time, they disenfranchise the so-called “beneficiaries” of this legislation by buying into a political party that would essentially deny a good number of them a better life in the future.

We know it’s a cliché as old as the constitution itself, but whatever happened to separation of church and state? Abortion legislation has been the topic of heated debate for decades. So why do Ohio politicians feel it’s acceptable to sneak it into a bill that decides how state funds will be distributed?