World AIDS Day is recognized every December 1. In Ohio, however, citizens most at risk of contracting HIV are facing political opposition to their health care.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland:
Nearly 1,000 Ohioans test positive for HIV every year. Almost half of them are African Americans. Ohio politicians are about to make it harder for them to access HIV tests. Why?
Ohio Right to Life claims all the time that Planned Parenthood health centers are in many minority communities. There’s a reason that’s often true: these communities need accessible and affordable health care. HIV testing is critical for men and women to discover their status and seek early treatment. It’s also a part of a complete health care presence that educates teens and adults about how to avoid Sexually Transmitted Infections.
John Kasich wants to block Ohioans from being able to turn to Planned Parenthood to access HIV testing so he can score political points with conservative voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.
House Bill 294 and Senate Bill 214 specifically stop health care providers from using funds through the “Minority HIV Initiative” if those providers perform abortions or promote or contract with any abortion provider. The bill also stops health care providers and educators from using the funds for the “Personal Responsibility Education Program” if those providers perform abortions or either the educators or providers promote or contract with any abortion provider.
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.