Ohio Defunds Planned Parenthood, Funnels $7.5M Over Two Years to Life-Affirming Pregnancy Centers

The Senate bill now needs to be reconciled with the House version and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.

The following article authored by Bridget Sielicki of Life Site News is an encouraging report for crisis pregnancy centers and bad news for Planned Parenthood in Ohio.

UPDATE, 8/7/19: The Charlotte Lozier Institute reports that Governor Mike DeWine signed a budget bill on July 18 funneling millions to pregnancy centers. The group writes:

As Planned Parenthood is being defunded of $1.5 million in annual state funds this year, pro-life pregnancy centers are being allocated $7.5 million in Ohio’s state budget. Taken together, these two changes represent a bold stride for protecting unborn lives and supporting women’s well-being at the state level….

Ohio pregnancy centers have been the recipients of $1 million in annual funding through the Parenting and Pregnancy Support Program in previous budgets. The recent appropriation of $7.5 million over two years represents a major increase and opens up considerable funding to the 200 pro-life pregnancy help centers across Ohio. The final two-year budget bill was signed by pro-life Governor Mike DeWine on July 18.

7/1/19: Legislators in Ohio have omitted funding for Planned Parenthood in the state’s annual budget and have pledged to substantially increase funding for crisis pregnancy centers. The Senate’s spending bill cuts $1.5 million in funding from Planned Parenthood and allocates $5 million for the state’s more than 200 pregnancy centers. This is five times the amount of funding that these pregnancy centers have received in the past.

The move comes after a federal appeals court upheld a 2016 Ohio law stripping funding from Planned Parenthood. That law was challenged, with a lower court initially ruling in Planned Parenthood’s favor. However, in March of this year, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the lower court’s ruling, upholding the state’s right to restrict funds to abortion providers.

“Governments generally may do what they wish with public funds, a principle that allows them to subsidize some organizations but not others and to condition receipt of public funds on compliance with certain obligations,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote concerning the ruling. “The Ohio law does not violate a woman’s right to obtain an abortion.”

READ: ‘Major blow to Planned Parenthood’: Appeals court lets Trump admin defund abortion providers

Senate President Larry Obhof spoke of the ruling to Tony Perkins on Washington Watch. He reiterated the state’s desire to funnel funds away from abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood while increasing the funds available to pro-life alternatives. “This is the first budget opportunity we’ve had since [the ruling] to invest additional funds into crisis pregnancy centers, and I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to do so far,” he said.

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