(Columbus) - Abortion-rights supporters are protesting restrictions on the procedure slipped into the state budget at the last minute.
"They need to stand up and have some courage and stop showing cowardice," said Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat.
Pro-choice advocates oppose an 11th hour budget amendment that would require Ohio abortion providers to inform pregnant women seeking the procedure if a fetal heartbeat is present. They also oppose the budget's effective defunding of Planned Parenthood, whose health care offerings to low-income patients can include abortions.
They rallied at the Statehouse before votes on the budget calling on Gov. John Kasich to strike the measures from the budget with a line-item veto.
Dr. Anita Somani, an OB/GYN, says the provisions complicate her job.
"It would interfere with our physician-patient relationship by mandating what we can and cannot tell our patients," she said.
Somani doesn't think doctors should have to decide between doing what is right or going to jail.
Created Equal, a group opposing abortion, showed up at the pro-choice rally at the Statehouse with banners showing aborted fetuses. Executive Director Mark Harrington defended putting the provisions into the budget.
"I think it's fine. It's all part of the process. If there's support for it then let's get it done that way. That's the way I look at it," he said.
Republican Gov. John Kasich opposes abortion but has not said what budget vetoes he plans.
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