Ohio’s Republican congressmen press governor to restrict abortion coverage in high-risk pool

Ohio’s Republican delegation on Monday wrote to Gov. Ted Strickland (D) urging him to restrict abortion coverage in that state’s high-risk pool created under the healthcare reform law. 

The signees acknowledge the Obama administration’s declaration last week that the federally funded pools would restrict coverage to rape, incest and cases where the life of the mother is in danger. But in the absence of formal guidance from the federal government, they’re asking the governor to clearly spell out abortion coverage restrictions.

“We are urging you to assure Ohioans that the final plan our state will submit to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services will not include elective abortion as a taxpayer-funded benefit,” they write. “Furthermore we respectfully request that you direct the Ohio Department of Insurance to thoroughly review its negotiations with the third-party provider your administration designated to run Ohio’s high-risk pool plan to ensure that the use of federal funds to perform abortions is clearly and definitively prohibited under any coverage.”

The letter was signed by House Minority Leader John Boehner and Reps. Steven LaTourette, Patrick Tiberi, Jean Schmidt, Michael Turner, Jim Jordan, Robert Latta and Steve Austria.