Ohio Gov. Signs Ban on Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance Exchanges

December 22, 2011 — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Wednesday signed into law a bill (HB 79) that will prohibit health plans from offering abortion coverage in the state's health insurance exchange, the Dayton Daily News' "Ohio Politics" reports. The exchange will be launched as part of the federal health reform law (PL 111-148).

The Ohio legislation is backed by abortion-rights opponents and opposed by abortion-rights supporters. Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said, "Politicians should never be allowed to limit the kinds of insurance benefits that women are allowed to purchase with their own money" (Hershey, "Ohio Politics," Dayton Daily News, 12/21).

Copeland added that the legislation "clearly violates the Ohio Constitution." The American Civil Liberties Union previously said it would sue to block the measure if it became law. ACLU argues that the legislation violates a new amendment to the Ohio Constitution stating that no law may prohibit the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance (Wisniewski, Reuters, 12/21).