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· May 10, 2012

In time for women’s health week, Ohio GOP takes aim at women’s healthcare providers

As we told you last month, an amendment backed by conservative Republicans briefly surfaced (and was later removed) in a budget bill, the aim of which was to starve Planned Parenthood of taxpayer funding. Well, it seems the proposal is back and moving forward. Next Wednesday, ironically in the middle of National Women’s Health Week, the Ohio House Health and Humans Services Committee is scheduled to hold a third hearing on House Bill 298. HB298, sponsored by State Representative Kristina Roegner “re-prioritizes” federal family planning money distributed by the state. The bill establishes criteria for funding, such that organizations like Planned Parenthood are at the bottom of the priority list. As a result, no money will remain by the time eligible recipients in higher tiers are funded. The bill would deprive women, many of them poor and uninsured, of access to health care. Read testimony from Ohio women’s health experts about the importance of Planned Parenthood. Inconveniently for legislators, next Tuesday is the 2nd Annual Women’s Lobby Day, when Ohioans will converge on Columbus to meet with legislators and encourage them to focus on bills that actually help women. If you can spare a few hours to participate in direct democracy, consider attending and let your representatives hear what you think about harmful proposals like HB 298.

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