If Ohio Republicans get their way, they’ll have Planned Parenthood defunded by Memorial Day.
Abortion-rights opponents inserted language into Gov. John Kasich’s (R) mid-budget review bill that effectively strips the women’s health care provider of up to $1.7 million in federal funding administered by the state Department of Health. The language added mirrors a separate bills currently in committee that reprioritizes federal family planning dollars so that Planned Parenthood and other stand-alone family planning providers get the lowest priority for federal funding.
The anti-choice community applauded the move. “Ohio’s abortion industry will no longer feed at the taxpayer trough. Instead, these dedicated health care funds will be offered to those entities where a vast majority of low-income women and their children seek responsible and life-saving services,” said Mike Gonidakis, President of Ohio Right to Life.
Not surprisingly, women’s health advocates see it a little differently. “Clearly, the intent of this legislation is to make sure the federal funds are exhausted before Planned Parenthood has the opportunity to apply for it,” said Gary Dougherty, state legislative director for Planned Parenthood.
Dougherty said only three of the 37 family planning centers run by Planned Parenthood provide abortions, and noted that it’s illegal under federal law to use federal funding for abortions.
“Clearly, a political statement is being made here at Planned Parenthood’s expense,” he said. “The shame is the women who come to Planned Parenthood don’t come to make a political statement, they come for health care.”
Making a political statement at the expense of poor women’s lives? That’s what the right does best.
Photo from fibonacciblue via flickr.