FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2016
Bill to defund Planned Parenthood severely overreaches goal
Columbus, Ohio —The Ohio Legislature has crafted an attack on Planned Parenthood that could have potentially devastating implications for public health funding. While the intent of the legislation is to punish abortion providers in Ohio, the wording of the bill is so irresponsible and dangerous it could block whole cities and counties from accessing critical public health funding.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “We know Gov. Kasich and his allies in the legislature have a clear agenda to stop safe and legal abortion in Ohio. This legislation, shoots past that terrible goal and creates unthinkable collateral damage. Their crusade to punish Planned Parenthood for no good reason will impact thousands of Ohioans who go to city and county health departments for HIV tests, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and medical care to have a healthy pregnancy.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said: “No president would sign a bill this dangerous and ill-advised. John Kasich is an anti-choice governor who has already shown himself to be a poor choice for the White House; if he signs legislation that toys with the health of so many Ohioans he will just reaffirm what women already know: that he’s unfit for any office.”
Under this legislation, if an entity enters into a contract with an organization that performs or promotes abortion, then the entity would be blocked from these funding sources through the Ohio Department of Health:
- the Violence Against Women Act;
- the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act;
- the Infertility Prevention Project;
- the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative;
- Infant Mortality Reduction or Infant Vitality Initiatives;
- and the Personal Responsibility Education Program.
Because of broad wording, the bill could stop health departments in Ohio’s largest cities and counties from accessing these funds. Existing contracts between health care facilities and hospitals or insurance providers would trigger the funding ban, eliminating options for care. Any city or county health department that works with an independent abortion provider or contracts with a hospital that performs a single abortion in which the pregnancy is not due to rape or incest, or does not endanger the woman’s life would be blocked from listed state funds.
The bill is scheduled for a vote during today’s 1:30 p.m. Senate session, pending committee vote.