Ohio is Defunding Planned Parenthood

Othman Mekhloufi | @othmanmekhloufi

In February of 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed legislation that cut all funding for abortion-providing health centers, namely Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has been the source of a lot of controversies surrounding the abortion issue. Ohio allocated roughly $1.3 million to other federally qualified health centers, health departments, as well as other non-abortion providing healthcare providers.

Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions, filed suit against the state of Ohio following the law’s passage. US District Judge Michael Barret granted an injunction blocking the law. Barret ruled that if the state ceased funding to Planned Parenthood, it would cause “irreparable injury”.

Following over a two-year-long legal battle, The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided to uphold the law, allowing the state to cut all funding to abortion-providing health centers.

Attorneys for Ohio argued that Planned Parenthood does not have a right to dictate the spending of the state.

In its ruling, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals stated that regardless of there being a constitutional right to abortion, there is no constitutional right for an entity to commit abortions. There is also no right for taxpayer funds to be supplied in order for an abortion to take place.

Judge Jeffery Sutton wrote the following in regards to the ruling:

“Private organizations do not have a constitutional right to obtain governmental funding to support their activities. The state also may choose not to subsidize constitutionally protected activities. Just as it has no obligation to provide a platform for an individual’s free speech, say a Speaker’s Corner in downtown Columbus, it has no obligation to pay for a woman’s abortion. Case after case establishes that a government may refuse to subsidize abortion services. The Supreme Court has never identified a freestanding right to perform abortions. To the contrary, it has indicated that there is no such thing. … Medical centers do not have a constitutional right to offer abortions. Yet, if we granted Planned Parenthood relief today, we would be effectively saying that they do.”

The passing of the Ohio law came after President Trump signed a bill allowing states to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion-providing organizations.

However, only time will tell whether or not the ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

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