Thursday, March 28, was a great news day. That was the day that all 26 Planned Parenthood clinics received notice from the Ohio Department of Health that their state funding will end April 20.
Brie Zeltner, writing for the Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, said the notice comes “following a federal appeals court ruling this month that upheld a 2016 Ohio law forbidding the state from sending preventive health funding to any organization, or affiliate of an organization, that ‘performs or promotes’ non-therapeutic abortions. The law was signed by former Gov. John Kasich.”
The letter from ODH, which was dated March 21, informs the organization’s 26 locations that as of April 20, they will no longer receive funding for a wide variety of programs formerly supported by the state. Last year, ODH gave about $600,000 in grants to Planned Parenthood, according to a spokesman for the department, Zeltner said.
The state money funded programs such as sexual assault services; breast and cervical cancer prevention; the STD (sexually transmitted disease) Control program; the Minority HIV/AIDS initiative; as well as five programs designed to reduce infant mortality, including Centering Pregnancy and Moms and Babies First, a neighborhood outreach program targeting high-risk black women.
There are three Ohio Planned Parenthood locations that provide abortions — in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Bedford Heights — but the nonprofits that provide these services, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region, allegedly do not use public money to fund them. The two organizations sued after the 2016 law was signed.
On March 12th, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled 11 to 6 to reverse a federal judge’s decision to declare the 2016 law unconstitutional.
Will Maule, writing for Faithwire, reported that “Planned Parenthood executives reacted with fury. ‘Ohio continues to put politics over people, putting them at greater risk. This isn’t about politics, this is about lifesaving health care’ said Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio CEO Iris E. Harvey.”
Of the 26 locations across the state, three provide abortions. However, under the Hyde Amendment, these clinics were not permitted to receive state funding, even before the 2016 measure was passed — they are funded by Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region.
However, those on the pro-life side who are in favor of the de-funding, have pointed out that the non-abortion services provided by Ohio’s Planned Parenthood clinics have declined in recent years, while abortion rates continue to increase.
“As abortions nationally continue to drop, Planned Parenthood’s abortion numbers have increased year over year,” noted pro-life outlet, LiveAction. “It currently holds 35% of the national market share for abortions (it committed more than 330,000, according to the most recent annual report).”
In addition, Planned Parenthood has been caught up in a number of scandals, including fetal organ harvesting and even failing to report the abortions of underage girls who were brought into clinics under suspicious circumstances.
“After being initially blocked by a court ruling, Ohio has finally defunded PP of all state taxpayer money. Great news!” tweeted LiveAction’s founder, Lila Rose.
In 2017, President Trump signed a bill which allowed states to immediately begin defunding abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood by removing the family planning funding they were permitted to receive under Title X.
In a tweet March 28, Harvey said, “Gov DeWine is HEARTLESS. Just got a 30 day notice from Health Dept. Defunding Planned Parenthood work to reduce Black infant mortality, prevent violence against women, provide cancer screenings, HIV tests and sex education! All care health depts couldn’t do!”
On a personal note, I find this comment absolutely bizarre coming, as it does, from a woman who makes her living murdering babies.