After two failed attempts in the past year, Ohio Republicans in the General Assembly have passed a provision in the state budget that would divert over $2 million in federal funding for family planning services away from Planned Parenthood and to so-called "pregnancy crisis centers," which more often than not don’t provide the same comprehensive care or range of services as Planned Parenthood.
In addition to calling this move a "pointless provocation", the Columbus Dispatch editorializes that "defunding Planned Parenthood would be bad public policy. The international organization is a known and trusted option for women who have neither health insurance nor the means to pay for critical services such as family planning and referrals for cancer screenings, prenatal care and other health services.
"It provides services in high volume at a low cost, and represents a sensible use of state health-care dollars."
If this bill becomes law, not only will hundreds of thousands of Ohio women lose access to high quality, low cost medical care, it could also be unconstitutional!
Just last month, the Supreme Court denied an appeal of the same measure brought by the state of Indiana, effectively ruling that "states cannot deny Medicaid funds to qualified providers of medical services simply because those providers include abortion among their services."
But, this fight is not about ideological differences over abortion. This fight is about whether or not thousands of low income women in the state of Ohio will have access to the preventative medical care they need and deserve.
It's time for current Republican lawmakers in the Ohio Senate to take a page from their previous leader’s playbook. Former Senate President Tom Niehaus refused to bring this provision up for a vote during the last session, arguing, "From my perspective, you have to look at the entirety of the work that is done by Planned Parenthood, and I believe that they offer much-needed services that are not offered other places."
Every woman deserves proper medical care from a top flight organization, and Planned Parenthood has proven time and again it is the gold standard when it comes to women's care. Please sign this petition today and stand with Ohio State Senator Nina Turner against Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly who continue to wage ideological warfare on the women of this great state!
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