(Cleveland) - On Sunday, September 29, provisions in Governor Kasich’s state budget that make changes to women’s health care will take effect for residents across Ohio and throughout Northeast Ohio.

In response, today, State Representative Mike Foley, Cleveland Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland and others are calling on women to speak out against the changes.

The provisions include defunding Planned Parenthood. Cleveland claims this will end life-saving, critical health care the organization provides provide to low income women, including cancer screenings, HIV tests, and birth control access.

Pepper Pike Councilwoman Jill Miller Zimon contends Kasich’s budget implements medically unnecessary ultrasounds for some women, creates criminal punishments for doctors, and attempts to shutter women’s health clinics across the state.

Mike Foley, Phyllis Cleveland, Sunny Simon & Jill Miller Zimon.

The new rules also restrict what health care professionals can tell rape victims about treatment options.

Backers of the changes are calling them the most pro-life legislation in state history. Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis maintains low-income pregnant women will now receive greater care and their unborn child will have a much greater opportunity to be born healthy.

Under the bill, abortion clinics must have a transfer agreement with a hospital, but they are prohibited from signing one with a public hospital.

The bill also requires a doctor to perform an external ultrasound prior to an abortion to search for a heartbeat, and if one is found, must inform the woman.

The doctor also must tell the woman the likelihood of the fetus surviving to a full term, and it redefines a fetus as “developing from the moment of conception,” rather than when a fertilized egg has been implanted in the uterus.

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(Photo by Ken Robinson/WTAM)
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