The Ohio House is voting on House Bill 294, which defunds Planned Parenthood. The bill, identical to its companion Senate Bill 214, takes funding used by Planned Parenthood health and education programs and disburses it among potentially hundreds of other providers. No public health care providers or Federally Qualified Health Centers testified that they want to receive this funding or could take on patients turned away from Planned Parenthood. No educators testified that they would replace the comprehensive sex education programs that Planned Parenthood would be blocked from offering.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland:
Gov. Kasich claims to want to improve health care access for Ohioans. However, his support for this bill shows that he cares more about scoring political points with Republican primary voters to bolster his failing presidential campaign. Planned Parenthood is the target, but the ones who are going to get hit with the consequences of this are the people who depend on the services that will be disrupted.
Ohioans that depend on Planned Parenthood for potentially life-saving services like comprehensive sex education, breast and cervical cancer screenings, HIV testing and infant mortality prevention programs may have nowhere else to turn. Gov. Kasich should veto this bill when it comes to his desk.
This bill works against goals outlined by Gov. Kasich in multiple State of the State speeches as he advocated for reducing Ohio’s infant mortality rate. This bill stops health care workers from providing services to pregnant women seeking healthy pregnancies. It will also decrease access to critically needed HIV testing as well as breast and cervical cancer screenings.
Anti-choice politicians say they want to reduce the number of abortions in Ohio, however this bill will stop qualified health educators from providing a comprehensive curriculum to teens in foster care and juvenile detention. At-risk youth need education to make smart choices and avoid unintended pregnancies. That is the best way to prevent unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion.
After today’s vote, the Ohio House version, HB 294, moves to the Senate for consideration. The Senate version, SB 214, was passed by that chamber on October 21, 2015. Senate Bill 214 has been assigned to the House committee on Community and Family Advancement.
Help build a pro-choice Ohio. Every day, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio fights to protect access to the full range of reproductive health care options—including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and safe & legal abortion care. We educate the public about the real threat to women’s healthcare posed by anti-choice legislation and policies. We mobilize pro-choice Ohioans to take political action to defend reproductive rights. And we are the voice for Ohio’s abortion clinics, helping them navigate the increasingly hostile climate created by extremist groups. But we need your help. As a member organization, we rely on your financial support to fund our important legislative, educational, and grassroots activities.