Though Governor Kasich and his fellow GOP officeholders continue to deny that they are attacking women’s rights, there are some key facts that all Ohioans need to know.
1. Governor Kasich refused to veto any of the 5 anti-women provisions Republican legislators included in the current state budget, and signed them into law instead. Though he possesses line-item veto authority, Governor Kasich refused to use it when he signed HB 59 (the current two-year state budget) on June 30, 2013. The bill contained five new anti-women provisions, ranging from the defunding of Planned Parenthood to requiring that physicians give women misleading information concerning abortion. At the bill signing, a widely circulated picture showed all the legislators surrounding Gov. Kasich were male, white, and middle-aged. [IO analysis; blog post on bill signing]
2. Of the 59 GOP members of the Ohio House, 51 earned a grade of F on our Legislative Report Card. Graded on their votes on 10 different pieces of legislation – ranging from restoring funding to Planned Parenthood to allowing women who face gender-based pay disparities to file actions in state courts – 51 (out of 59) GOP House members received an F, while 7 others received a D. [ IO’s women’s scorecard]
3. Attorney General Mike DeWine has repeatedly opposed women’s access to contraception. In the 2012 Ohio Republican primary, DeWine withdrew his endorsement of Mitt Romney and threw his support to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum – several months after Santorum talked about the “dangers of contraception in this country” and said it is “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” [ Santorum on contraception; DeWine on Santorum]
In 2014, DeWine intervened against women in the so-called “Hobby Lobby” U.S. Supreme Court case by filing a brief which essentially argued that women should have to get their boss’ permission in order to have access to contraception under company insurance policies.
4. No GOP statewide officer holder supports equal pay for equal work, and all of them pay their male employees more than their female employees. None of Ohio’s 5 statewide office holders publicly supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (the first bill President Obama signed into law), and an April, 2014 Dayton Daily News analysis found that all five statewide office-holders pay their male employees more than female employees. Governor Kasich, for example, pays women an average of $9.81 per hour less than men – more than twice the $3.99 gap that existed under his predecessor. [Statewide officials’ pay gap]
Ohio’s Republican office-holders hotly deny that they’re waging a war on women, even as they continue to attack their rights. Whether it’s the GOP’s refusal to back equal pay for equal work or their obsession over controlling women’s health care decisions, Ohio women know that actions speak far louder than words.