In a disappointing ruling Wednesday, a federal appeals court said Ohio must continue giving tax dollars to the abortion chain Planned Parenthood.
Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, said the court’s decision is wrong.
“The Constitution does not give private corporations the right to taxpayer dollars,” Gonidakis said. “Planned Parenthood receives countless tax dollars a year from hardworking Ohioans, which frees up their budget to fund their real priorities: abortion on demand. We trust that pro-life Attorney General Mike DeWine will defend this law that protects the conscience rights of Ohio taxpayers at the Supreme Court, and that activist judges won’t get the final say in this matter.”
Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, receives about $1.5 million from Ohio taxpayers annually, according to the report. Though the tax dollars may not be used for abortions, many argue that money is fungible, and the funds indirectly support the killing of unborn babies.
However, the Sixth Circuit judges disagreed.
The state argued that Planned Parenthood was seeking a constitutional guarantee to public funding that does not exist. But U.S. Circuit Judge Helene White said the two Planned Parenthood affiliates in the case claimed no such thing.
“What they do claim is a right not to be penalized in the administration of government programs based on protected activity outside the programs,” she wrote for the three-judge panel.
White said the law had violated Planned Parenthood’s due process rights by requiring a health care provider surrender its right to provide legal abortions as a condition of participating in programs that have nothing to do with abortion.
“The issue in the instant challenge is…whether Ohio may require a provider to surrender the right to provide safe and lawful abortions on its own ‘time and dime’ as a condition of participating in government programs that have nothing to do with abortion,” White wrote in the 30-page decision.
“Thus, as a condition of retaining access to abortion free of undue governmental interference, Ohio women must forego the extensive and subsidized access to health services under federal programs that they previously enjoyed,” the ruling continued. “Although Ohio women do not have a right to the programs, they do have a right not to have their access to important health services curtailed because their major abortion providers opted to protect women’s abortion rights rather than yield to unconstitutional conditions.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said it is considering whether to appeal.
Polls indicate a strong majority of Ohio residents want Planned Parenthood to be defunded and the money redirected to community health centers.
Planned Parenthood runs three abortion centers in the state and 24 other facilities that refer women for abortions.
Ohio was one of a number of states that moved to defund Planned Parenthood after its employees were caught in a series of undercover videos allegedly trying to sell aborted babies’ body parts. In December, the U.S. Department of Justice said it is investigating whether the abortion chain illegally sold aborted baby body parts.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in America, aborting approximately 320,000 unborn babies every year. Its most recent annual report showed a record income of $1.46 billion, with about half a billion dollars coming from taxpayers.