Ohio Blocks Planned Parenthood from State Taxpayers’ Funds

Olivier Douliery/Getty Images/AFP
File Photo: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images/AFP

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill that eliminates state funding from Planned Parenthood in the Buckeye State.

The new law redirects $1.3 million in taxpayer funds from Planned Parenthood of Ohio to other health facilities, and it prohibits the state from entering into a contract for health services with any entity that performs or promotes non-therapeutic abortions, reports Cleveland.com.

Additionally, the legislation earmarks $250,000 in federal Medicaid funds exclusively for community health centers.

The bill was co-sponsored by Democratic Rep. Bill Patmon and Republican Rep. Margaret Conditt.

In July, Patmon, who is black, joined a #WomenBetrayed rally in demanding that Planned Parenthood be investigated and defunded.

“You hear a lot of demonstrations across the country now about ‘Black Lives Matter,’” he said. “Well they skipped one place. They should be in front of Planned Parenthood.”

“You say, ‘Well, you’re kind of strident, aren’t you?’ I say, ‘No, not when 5,499 abortions are in Cuyahoga County, which I happen to represent, and 63 percent of them are black women,’” Patmon asserted.

On Monday, Kasich — a 2016 GOP presidential contender — said Planned Parenthood had “discredited itself” and added, “We have robust women’s health funding in Ohio,” reports Dayton Daily News.

Kasich bolstered his appreciation for women by noting when he first campaigned for the Ohio state Senate, there were “women who left the kitchen to go door to door” for him.

“In the early days, it was an army of women who really helped me get elected to the state Senate,” he said.

When challenged by a woman who said Planned Parenthood helps prevent sexually transmitted diseases, Kasich said, “We are going to crack that as well,” but “you don’t have to be captive of delivery through an organization that has largely discredited itself, OK?”

Planned Parenthood is protesting the move, asserting the state funds — which represent about five percent of the abortion business’s statewide budget — were used for educational programs for mothers, HIV counseling and testing, and sex education.

Nevertheless, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio CEO Stephanie Kight said the cuts in funding would not force the closure of clinics or stop abortions since they will find funding elsewhere to replace what is eliminated by the new law.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper criticized Kasich and Republicans for the measure.

“With his decision today to sign House Bill 294, Governor Kasich has finally answered the question of whose side he’s really on,” Pepper said. “Rather than listen to the majority of Ohioans who oppose defunding Planned Parenthood, Kasich decided to take sides with radical extremists who were recently indicted on felony charges.”

Pepper was apparently referring to Center for Medical Progress project leader David Daleiden who produced a series of videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s apparent practices of selling the body parts of aborted babies and altering the position of babies during abortions in order to harvest the most intact organs.

Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merrit turned themselves in to law enforcement officials in Houston several weeks ago after being indicted by a grand jury. In what two pro-choice law professors called a “stunning act of legal jujitsu,” Planned Parenthood was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Harris County grand jury, while Daleiden and Merrit were indicted instead. Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson has faced prior allegations of bias, as the Associated Press reported.


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