On July 18, 2019, pro-life Governor Mike DeWine signed Ohio’s general operating budget for state fiscal years 2020-21.This is great news for Ohio because the budget DeWine signed defunds the Planned Parenthood abortion business and redirects that funding to pro-life pregnacy centers that provide legitimate help for pregnant women and their babies.
The Ohio legislature passed the two-year, $69 billion budget bill last week with a $1.5 million cut in funding to Planned Parenthood annually. The budget also includes $7.5 million for pregnancy resource centers – five times what the nonprofits have received in the past, according to the report.
This is the first opportunity Ohio lawmakers have had to defund Planned Parenthood, which does about one third of all abortions in the United States. State leaders have been working for years to cut its taxpayer funding, but Planned Parenthood initially blocked the efforts with a lawsuit.
In March, however, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the state, upholding a law that defunds Planned Parenthood of state taxpayer dollars.
The statewide pro-life group Ohio Right to Life praised legislators for the funding shift.
“We are incredibly grateful for the pro-life leadership in both the Ohio Senate and House for the unprecedented support for our pro-life mission to help pregnant women,” said Stephanie Ranade Krider, Vice President and Executive Director of Ohio Right to Life. “The significant increase in funding for the Ohio Parenting and Pregnancy Program will save lives and help pregnant women carry to term. The historic funding will enhance Governor DeWine’s laser-focus investment in Ohio’s children and demonstrates the state’s commitment to some of our most vulnerable citzens. These funds will empower organizations to reach more women and promote healthy birth outcomes.”
“The Ohio legislature has again shown its commitment to passing pro-life initiatives that not only work to end abortion but also to promote the life and well-being of women and their children, born and unborn. In conjunction with the increased funds for home vistiation for at-risk mothers, wrap around services for school-age children, and for foster care agencies, this budget represents a truly pro-life investment in Ohio’s families and children.”
Approximately 200 pregnancy resource centers provide free material and emotional support to pregnant and parenting mothers and children in Ohio. Support often includes pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, counseling, diapers, maternity clothing and other baby supplies.
However, pro-abortion Democrats tried to remove the funding from the budget. According to Fox News, state Sen. Sandra Williams, of Cleveland, proposed an amendment to cut the $5 million for pregnant and parenting moms, but her amendment failed.
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“The funds in this program do not go to evidence-based initiatives proven to reduce infant and maternal mortality,” Williams said. “Rather, they go to organizations with anti-choice agendas who often offer inaccurate medical information.”
State Senate President Larry Obhof told Washington Watch that they were glad to provide more funding for pregnant and parenting mothers in Ohio.
“This is the first budget opportunity we’ve had since then to invest additional funds into crisis pregnancy centers,” Obhof said.
Abortion activists responded by attacking pregnancy centers and the work they do to support mothers in need.
“We should not be spending this $5 million that will do nothing but hurt the people that come to them for care,” Jamie Miracle of NARAL Ohio told WOSU. These are “fake women’s health centers that provide incomplete care at best and lies and manipulation at worst.”
However, the pro-abortion movement has not been able to produce any evidence that pro-life pregnancy centers hurt women.
“What they mean is, these are pro-life options and we’d prefer that you give the money to Planned Parenthood,” Obhof told the local news. “The legislature has chosen over time to make a decision that we would not prioritize organizations that perform non-therapeutic abortions. They took us to court. They lost.”
A strong majority of Ohio residents wanted Planned Parenthood to be de-funded and the money redirected to community health centers, according to a 2015 poll taken when lawmakers began debating the issue.
Pollsters found 64 percent of Ohioans believed that Congress should end taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood, which received more than $528 million in taxes in 2014.
Even more Ohioans (68 percent) said taxpayers should not subsidize a group liked Planned Parenthood, and the government should redirect funding to the thousands of health clinics across the country that provide comprehensive health care to women and their families.
Planned Parenthood aborts about 330,000 unborn babies every year. Its CEO Leana Wen recently admitted that abortions are their “core mission