Ohio Bill Would Block Abortion and Birth Control Coverage: Tell Your Lawmakers to Oppose It

June 9, 2014

The Ohio House of Representatives is currently considering a bill that would ban public and private health plans across the state from providing insurance coverage for abortion. The Center for Inquiry (CFI) considers this measure extremely dangerous and urges Ohio residents to tell their state representative to oppose it. 

House Bill 351, proposed by Rep. John Becker (R-District 65), would prohibit insurance plans from covering “drugs or devices used to prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum.” The bill includes no exceptions for rape, incest, or life-threatening circumstances, meaning Ohio women would be forced to pay for the entire cost of abortions out of pocket— anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Furthermore, while the bill is designed to restrict insurance coverage for abortion care, it would also allow for the elimination of coverage for highly effective birth control methods like the IUD and emergency contraception.

In defending the idea behind his bill, Rep. Becker stated that, “This is just a personal view. I’m not a medical doctor.” 

Yet, if approved, Rep. Becker’s personal view will jeopardize the reproductive health of nearly six million women who live in Ohio and depend on insurance to access effective and necessary reproductive health care. This bill would be particularly harmful to economically disadvantaged women, whose unintended pregnancy rate is more than five times higher than the rate for women in the highest income level, mainly because they struggle to access affordable birth control.

Reproductive health care policy should respect the autonomy of women and be based on reason and science, not sectarian religious beliefs or pseudoscience. Women have the right to make their own reproductive choices without interference from politicians pursuing personal goals. We all benefit when individuals have the ability to make choices without being told by religious members of society that their rules trump other individuals’ freedoms.

Your elected officials need to hear from constituents. We urge you to write or call your state representative now, while there’s still time to stop this bill, and tell them you oppose House Bill 351!


Learn more about CFI’s fight against religion and junk science at our new web site, Keep Health Care Safe and Secular.