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Ohio lawmakers approve bill to defund Planned Parenthood

A woman walks past the Center for Women’s Health in Cleveland. Associated Press/Photo by Tony Dejak, File

Ohio lawmakers approve bill to defund Planned Parenthood

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is likely to sign a bill to defund Planned Parenthood after the state House approved the measure Wednesday. Critics of Kasich, a GOP presidential contender, accuse him of limiting low-income women’s access to healthcare. But a Kasich spokesman said the governor advocates for women’s health in ways that don’t involve support for abortion businesses.

During his time as governor, Kasich has “helped 260,000 women in Ohio gain access to healthcare,” pledged state-matching funds for breast and cervical cancer screenings, and strengthened programs for sexual assault prevention, said Joe Andrews, Kasich’s press secretary. He also noted Kasich has provided funding for rape crisis centers for the first time in Ohio history and protected women from human trafficking.

But Planned Parenthood’s Dawn Laguens called Kasich “terrible for women’s health” because he bans access to “safe, legal abortion and basic care at Planned Parenthood health centers.”

Ohio pro-lifers applaud those efforts.

“We have seen nothing but positive improvements for women’s health policies in this state since he took office,” Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, said. “By reallocating funds from Planned Parenthood and by disqualifying them from certain grants, Ohio women will have far greater options to have their healthcare needs served across the state.”

Ohio House Bill 294, which passed 59-32, prevents businesses that offer abortions, or groups referring patients to abortion businesses, from receiving funding from state and federal grants.

The nationwide effort to defund Planned Parenthood comes after the pro-life Center for Medical Progress released a series of damaging videos showing high-ranking Planned Parenthood employees allegedly bartering over the sale of baby body parts, a federal crime. Pro-life activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were indicted in Houston for recording the conversations while posing as medical research representatives. No charges were brought against the Houston Planned Parenthood affiliate or its executives.

If Kasich signs the bill, Ohio will become the fifth state to defund Planned Parenthood, joining Kansas, Texas, Utah, and New Hampshire. Federal judges blocked similar measures in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama.

Melinda Taylor Melinda is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD contributor.


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