Media outlets called out GOP presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) for his extreme positions on reproductive rights, which contrasts sharply with the “moderate” persona he has projected during the GOP presidential race.
Kasich Signs Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood In Ohio
CNN: “Kasich Signs Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood.” On February 22, CNN reported that Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law that would "[block] government funds to Planned Parenthood." The report highlighted that Kasich signed the bill despite “tr[ying] to project a more moderate image as a Republican presidential candidate”:
Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill Sunday prohibiting the state from contracting for health services with any organization that performs or promotes abortions, blocking government funds to Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood isn't explicitly named in the legislation, but the law will prevent more than $1 million in funding from the state health department from going to the nonprofit to fund programs such as HIV testing, health screenings and prevention of violence against women.
Kasich, who's tried to project a more moderate image as a Republican presidential candidate on some issues, had been expected to sign the measure. A spokesman for the governor said earlier this month that he intended to sign the bill when it reached his desk. He did so Sunday, a day after finishing a distant fifth in South Carolina's primary. [CNN, 2/22/16]
Media Note Kasich's Positions On Reproductive Rights “Prove He Is No Moderate”
New York Magazine: Kasich Signing Bill Into Law Proves Being “The Most Moderate Candidate” In GOP Field “Doesn't Count For Much.” New York magazine's Eric Levitz in a February 22 article wrote that while “Kasich has become every liberal's favorite Republican candidate” by seeming “hopelessly moderate,” on reproductive health issues he is “actually more extreme than his party's most xenophobic war-crimes enthusiast -- Donald Trump.” Levitz also noted Kasich has “shuttered half of the abortion clinics in Ohio”:
Over the course of the 2016 campaign, Kasich has become every liberal's favorite Republican candidate. In a race where the GOP front-runner has spoken approvingly of mass-executing Muslims with bullets dipped in pig's blood, the Ohio governor's refusal to scapegoat minority groups has made him seem hopelessly moderate. But on matters of reproductive health care, Kasich is actually more extreme than his party's most xenophobic war-crimes enthusiast -- Donald Trump recently said, “Planned Parenthood does some wonderful things for women's health.”
Kasich has shuttered half of the abortion clinics in Ohio.
Kasich's move to defund Planned Parenthood is a useful reminder that being “the most moderate candidate in the Republican race” doesn't count for much. The world's largest miniature poodle is still a very small dog. [New York Magazine, 2/22/16]
Vox: Despite "Trying To Cast Himself As The Moderate Conservative Candidate, This Anti-Abortion Legislation Is Typical Of His Gubernatorial Leadership." Vox reported on February 22 that despite Kasich's attempt to be the “moderate” GOP candidate, defunding Planned Parenthood was “typical of his gubernatorial leadership” and just “another feather in the cap of his anti-abortion record”:
Despite Kasich trying to cast himself as the moderate conservative candidate, this anti-abortion legislation is typical of his gubernatorial leadership.
This law comes on the heels of an additional $1.4 million cut in federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood, which Kasich signed as part of Ohio's 2013 budget bill.
Touted as the “most pro-life budget in history” by Ohio's anti-abortion advocacy group Ohio Right to Life, the bill required abortion clinics to have transfer agreements only with private hospitals (prohibiting public hospitals from contracting with abortion clinics), perform external ultrasounds prior to abortions, and inform mothers of a heartbeat. The budget also redefined a fetus as “developing from the moment of conception.”
As Kasich is running for president in a political party that has become increasingly conservative, this move will undoubtedly be used as another feather in the cap of his anti-abortion record. [Vox, 2/22/16]
Huffington Post: While “Hailed By Many In His Party As Being Moderate, [Kasich] Has Long Supported Abortion Restrictions” In Ohio. The Huffington Post's Marina Fang wrote in a February 21 article that while Kasich is “hailed by many in his party as being moderate, he has long supported abortion restrictions in his state.” Fang pointed out that the bill Kasich signed “jeopardizes the fate of other vital women's health programs”:
As HuffPost's Dana Liebelson and Samantha Lachman reported earlier this month, Kasich's decision to sign the bill should not come as a surprise. Although the GOP presidential hopeful has been hailed by many in his party as being moderate, he has long supported abortion restrictions in his state.
Last year, Kasich also said that he supports a state bill that would ban abortions for Down syndrome. Critics argue that the bill violates the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling, which declared that women can choose to get an abortion at any point until the fetus is viable and that the choice to get an abortion should be a private matter between the patient and her doctor, not determined by the government. [The Huffington Post, 2/21/16]
Jezebel: “Terrible” John Kasich Signed Bill That “Strips $1.7 Million” From Planned Parenthood. Jezebel's Anna Merlan wrote in a February 22 article headlined “John Kasich, Who Is Terrible, Signs Bill Defunding Ohio Planned Parenthood” that Kasich has “spent a good amount of time trying to position himself as a moderate” during the presidential campaign, but “signed every single anti-abortion measure that's made it across his desk since he took office in 2011”:
In the midst of getting lightly trounced and nationally embarrassed in the presidential election, Ohio Governor John Kasich still found a moment to be awful in his home state, signing a bill on Sunday that strips $1.7 million from Planned Parenthood. The money went to preventative care and sex ed.
Kasich has spent a good amount of time trying to position himself as a moderate. That may be why he signed the defunding bill on a Sunday behind closed doors, as the Associated Press reported, and failed to mention it during a weekend of “unity over division”-style campaigning:
Kasich has, as the 538 points out, signed every single anti-abortion measure that's made it across his desk since he took office in 2011. He's also against paid maternity leave, for some reason. All good things to keep in mind as Kasich continues darkening the doors of non-Ohio America, promoting his fanciful vision of being a uniter. [Jezebel, 2/22/16]