Ohio House Republicans move to cut funding to Planned Parenthood

Posted on April 17, 2012

The Columbus Dispatch, April 17, 2012 by Jim Siegel

House Republicans added a provision to the mid-biennium review today that would significantly cut or eliminate federal funding to Planned Parenthood.

By implementing a new priority system for federal family planning dollars, similar to what was enacted in Texas, abortion rights opponents say the proposal may not completely end money for Planned Parenthood in Ohio, but would at least largely defund the group.

Under the proposal, local health departments get the top funding priority, followed by federally qualified community health centers, private care centers and, last, Planned Parenthood.

“We refer to it as defunding Planned Parenthood because a lot of the money, in fact, will go to the top three, but it doesn’t preclude Planned Parenthood, at the end of the day, from receiving money,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life.

Contacted earlier today, Gary Dougherty, state legislative director of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio, said he had seen a summary of the amendment and it concerned him, but he is withholding further comment until he sees details of the proposal.

Ohio Right to Life is promoting the amendment as a way to ensure tax dollars will continue to flow to health programs for uninsured and underinsured women, but it prioritizes how tax dollars are distributed. Gonidakis said there are 290 options available for low-income women and their children, pointing, as an example, to Lower Lights Ministries in Franklinton.

“This money should be going to them, as opposed to the abortion industry,” he said.

Posted in: Ohio