Ohio Will Appeal Planned Parenthood Defunding
Ohio will appeal a federal judge’s decision Friday that blocks the state from barring funds from Planned Parenthood.
Ohio affiliates of Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest private abortion business, sued the state after Governor John Kasich signed a law that would prohibit most state and state-controlled funds (about $1.4 million) from going to any business that provides healthcare if it also kills unborn children. Set to go into effect Aug. 12th, after a previous restraining order expired, the law was blocked at the last minute by US District Court Judge Michael Barrett.
Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem) told the Columbus Dispatch that the law would have ended preferential treatment for the abortion chain, which also provides a limited number of women’s health services.
“This was a thoroughly vetted and screened piece of legislation,” he said. “We believe the funding would have been spread more evenly across the state and been effective in helping to reduce infant mortality.”
Judge Barrett ruled that the law violates the First and 14th Amendments, and would cause Planned Parenthood to “suffer a continuing irreparable injury for which there is no adequate remedy at law.”
It violates the First Amendment guarantee of free speech and association, he said, by effectively punishing the company for advocating for abortion and associating in order to abort children, and its 14th Amendment right to due process by prohibiting public funding for programs that are not related to abortion because the business also kills unborn children. Pro-abortion advocates call denying funding to abortionists “retaliation” for being in the abortion business.
Pro-life advocates say that the state has the right to award or deny funding based on the job the state wants done.
Cleveland Right to Life President Molly Smith dismissed Barrett’s ruling as judicial activism.
“Here is one more example of the arrogance of the Federal Court,” she said, noting that Medicaid funding for abortion would have remained unaffected by the law, and contending that Planned Parenthood filed the suit not because it needs the $1.4 million, but to head off any attempts to stop its Medicaid funding.
“Ohio has a history of preferring childbirth over abortion and this common-sense and life-enhancing citizen policy has been ignored by this activist judge,” she said.
Paula Westwood, Executive Director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, called the abortion business’s position hypocritical.
“By its own admission, none of Planned Parenthood’s Ohio affiliates would close without these grants,” she said, demanding to know how the business could say so while simultaneously claim that it would suffer “irreparable harm” without the funds.
Along with Smith, Westwood sites Ohio’s longstanding preference to fund healthcare that helps women give birth.
“Judge Barrett has ignored Ohio policy to prefer childbirth over abortion,” she said. “Now this leading abortion chain remains the public face for these tax-funded programs.”
Mike Gonidakis, President of Ohio Right to Life, said he expects the state to win its appeal.
“Judge Barrett’s decision is a clear violation of states’ rights and the conscience rights of taxpayers,” he said. “In 2015, Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions, all while receiving $553.7 million in taxpayer dollars. That accounts for an obscene 42 percent of its total revenue. Ohio has hundreds of free to low-cost women’s health care providers that don’t perform abortions, yet we are forced to subsidize one that does. ”
Founded in 1921 by birth control and eugenics advocate Margaret Sanger to provide birth control to women, Planned Parenthood is now the world’s largest private abortion business, accounting for about 330,000 abortions a year in the United States and advocating for abortion all over the world. The company’s affiliates provide a small number of other medical services related to birth control, most of those services paid for by local, state, and federal grants. The majority of Planned Parenthood’s non-tax-funded income comes from abortion, and more than 90% of pregnant women who visit a Planned Parenthood affiliate have an abortion.
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