For the fourth time in two years, Ohio Republicans are pushing a measure that would deny funding to family planning organizations like Planned Parenthood.
In 2011, SB 201 was introduced by Senator Kris Jordan, and promptly went nowhere. A year later, a similar measure was inserted into the mid-biennium budget bill, only to be removed a few days later after public outcry. Then in November, a House committee passed HB298, sponsored by Representative Kristina Roegner, only to see the full House fail to take up the measure before the legislature adjourned.
Now, House Republicans have unveiled their version of the state two-year budget, and once again it contains a provision that would deny taxpayer funds to organizations like Planned Parenthood.
Why? According to inaccurate claims by Ohio Right to Life, only Planned Parenthood facilities are currently eligible for family planning grants, so — the argument goes — “reprioritizing” funding to other providers will make the funding available to other types of providers.
But that could not be more true.
In the last full year of funding, Planned Parenthood received just two of 36 grants. Health Departments and community action agencies are already receiving funds under the current program. All this effort will do is put Planned Parenthood last in line and shift the money away from counties where Planned Parenthood is the only provider of family planning services. It is estimated that 14,000 low-income women in Ohio could lose access to services as a result of this measure.
Hearings are scheduled today and tomorrow in the House Finance Committee, with a final measure expected to come to a vote in the full House next Thursday.