Ohio law bans funding abortions in insurance exchanges

Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:47pm EST

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(Reuters) - Ohio Governor John Kasich on Wednesday signed a law that would prohibit abortion coverage from the state insurance exchange Ohio must create under the federal health care law.

"While we can all agree that people should have access to healthcare, we reject the notion that abortion is healthcare because the only measure of 'success' of an abortion procedure is the death of an innocent child," said Mike Gonidakis, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, in a statement.

The law bans Ohio citizens from being able to purchase insurance through the exchange that includes abortion coverage, even if they pay for it with their own money, said Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, who criticized the bill.

"It is appalling that Governor Kasich signed this bill, which clearly violates the Ohio Constitution, into law," said Copeland.

The American Civil Liberties Union has previously said it would sue the state if the bill became law. The ACLU argued that the law conflicts with a new amendment to the state's constitution that includes a provision that no law shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance.

The amendment, supported by Republicans, was designed to opt Ohio out of federal health care reform.

(Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Additional reporting by Kim Palmer, Editing by Greg McCune)

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