Ohio Governor John Kasich [official website] signed new abortion restrictions into law Sunday night as part of the state's budget [press release, PDF]. The provisions will require ultrasounds for anyone seeking an abortion, make it more difficult for family planning services to obtain funding, and limit the ability of those providing abortions to make agreements with local hospitals. Planned Parenthood Action Fund [advocacy website] condemned Kasich's decision to "bury" the stringent provisions in a multipage budget bill, saying "politicians in Ohio knew they couldn't pass these unpopular measures if they played by the rules." The President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards stated [press release]:
The fight in Ohio is not over, with extreme bills still pending in the legislature. As long as politicians continue to introduce out-of-touch bills that further restrict women's health care in Ohio, we will fight for Ohio women. We are all better off when women and their doctors, not politicians, are the ones making medical decisions.The bill was signed just a few days after Texas state Senator Wendy Davis was able to successfully filibuster against proposed anti-abortion laws in her home state in front of a crowds of supporters [RT report] from across the country.
Also Sunday a federal judge in Kansas refused to block an abortion law [JURIST report] challenged by Planned Parenthood that requires abortion providers' websites to contain a link to a state information page. In June the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) [advocacy site] filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in federal court alleging that two restrictive North Dakota abortion laws violate the US constitution. Also in June the US Supreme Court agreed to review [JURIST report] McCullen v. Coakley [docket; cert. petition, PDF] which concerns a Massachusetts law that establishes "buffer zones" outside abortion clinics, where people are not allowed to protest. The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the law [JURIST report] in January.