Ohio Pro-Life Provision Has Cut $1 Million From Planned Parenthood
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
January 28, 2004
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — Because of a budget amendment passed in June, Ohio has cut over $1 million in funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates and re-routed the taxpayers money to local health departments that do not perform abortions.
Last June, the state legislature approved an amendment to the 2-year budget that changed the state’s Family Planning Program, which gave priority to Title X organizations like Planned Parenthood, to a Women’s Health Services Program, which gave priority to local health departments providing services to low-income women.
The budget change was to take effect in July, but due to necessary changes in the program, disbursement was delayed until January. After awarding grants to 22 local health departments across the state, there was not enough funds to give to the 10 Ohio Planned Parenthood affiliates, who had a stranglehold on the grants under the previous program.
"Awarding women’s health services grants to local health departments make good public policy sense" said Mark Lally, Legislative Counsel of Ohio Right to Life.
"Local health departments have a long history of providing health services to low income women, but unlike Planned Parenthood, they are not driven by an ideological commitment to promoting abortion," Lally told LifeNews.com.
"This is a victory both for Ohio’s women, who will receive quality health services from a non-controversial source, and for pro-life taxpayers, who will not have to subsidize an organization that is committed to the destruction of unborn children," Lally added.
When asked if Planned Parenthood had voiced any recent opposition the change in funding priorities, Lally told LifeNews.com that they had been "pretty much resigned to it."
The language in the budget amendment is acceptable to Ohio Right to Life because it maintains a clear preference for services provided by local health departments, and also prevents discrimination against any applicant that has moral or other objections to providing contraception.
Objections were raised during the consideration of the amendment in the Senate that such a change would restrict women’s access to services. However, Planned Parenthood affiliates had the funding to continue their operations, and by giving the state’s funding to financially strapped local health departments women’s health services could be improved.
The change in state funding follows a report from the Ohio Department of Health that the number of abortions performed in Ohio in 2002 dropped to the lowest level in 10 years.
The 35,830 abortions performed in Ohio, according to the report, are 4% fewer than 2001. It is also the lowest number of annual abortions since 1992.
Ohio Right to Life – https://www.ohiolife.org