Ohio lawmakers seek to defund Planned Parenthood, fund public health centers
COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 13, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Ohio lawmakers introduced legislation Tuesday that will redirect millions in state funding away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood to local health departments and community health centers.
Reps. Kristina Roegner (R-42nd) and Cliff Rosenberger (R-86th) have sponsored legislation in the House, and Sen. Kris Jordan (R-19th) has sponsored companion legislation in the Senate.
Mike Gonidakis, Executive Director for Ohio Right to Life, explained that the new legislation is an extension of a 2004 state law that gives local health departments priority when it comes to funds for women’s health services.
“Taxpayer funded health centers and community health centers should receive the utmost consideration from the government when distributing these limited resources,” said Gonidakis.
Ohio Right to Life pointed out that abortion numbers have increased at Planned Parenthood over the years, along with increases in its public funding. In the decade since 1998, Planned Parenthood’s funding increased from $165 million per year to $363.3 million, during which time the number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood increased from 165,509 per year to 332,278.
The Susan B. Anthony List, which has led a public effort to defund Planned Parenthood, especially of federal Title X family planning money, is supporting the state effort.
“We applaud Ohio for taking action to protect women from Planned Parenthood and its harmful practices,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List. “Momentum is building as states across the country are listening to their constituents and bucking the federal government in order to stop taxpayers from having to pay for abortion.”
Dannenfelser accused the White House of “badgering states in order to protect its political ally Planned Parenthood” and urged President Obama to accept that American taxpayers do not want to give any financial aid to the abortion giant.
The Obama administration has threatened to revoke Indiana’s allocation of Medicaid dollars because the state passed a law prohibiting family planning clinics that provide abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood, from being recipients of Medicaid funding. The administration joined Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against the Indiana law in June.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also sent a bulletin June 1 warning all 50 states against adopting similar measures in Indiana. It stated that federal law “does not allow states to stop beneficiaries from getting care they need — like cancer screenings and preventive care — because their provider offers certain other services.”
So far seven states have acted to deprive Planned Parenthood of state funding, after congressional Republicans failed in their attempt to remove federal funding for the abortion provider. Wisconsin and Tennessee reallocated family planning funds away from Planned Parenthood, while North Carolina legislators barred state contracts with the organization. New Hampshire’s Executive Council also blocked a family-planning contract with a Planned Parenthood affiliate in that state.
Under the leadership of Gov. Sam Brownback, funds for Planned Parenthood were stripped from the Kansas budget. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also nixed the state’s allotment of family planning funds to Planned Parenthood with a line-item veto.