Ohio Defunds Planned Parenthood

March 26, 2019 Updated: March 26, 2019

The Ohio Department of Health is terminating grants and contracts that send money to Planned Parenthood after a federal appeals court upheld a state law that blocks public money from the organization since it provides elective abortions.

The department notified recipients and contractors on March 21 that it will cut funding within a month to comply with the law unless the court delays the effect of its ruling as Planned Parenthood requested.

The department said the law requires it to ensure state and certain federal funds aren’t “used to perform or promote nontherapeutic abortions.”

The law targeted funding that Planned Parenthood receives through the Ohio Department of Health. That money is mostly from the federal government.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on March 12 that the Ohio law barring Planned Parenthood from receiving public funds is constitutional. The majority of the judges sided with the state (pdf), concluding that the two Planned Parenthood affiliates that challenged the state law “do not have a due process right to perform abortions” under the constitution.

Yoi Reyes of Mary’s Pregnancy Resource Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, holds a sign during a protest vigil in Washington, on Jan. 17, 2019. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Demonstrators gather during a protest vigil in Washington, on Jan. 17, 2019. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Taxpayers are overwhelmingly opposed to their money being used to perform abortions. Three in four American adults surveyed by Marist Poll in January said they’re against funding abortions with tax dollars. The same poll found that 84 percent of Americans support restrictions on abortion.

President Donald Trump signed a bill into law in 2017 which prohibits Planned Parenthood and other entities that commit abortion from receiving federal Title X funds.

The bill was drafted to reverse President Barack Obama’s executive order that granted the funds to the abortion industry. Obama had previously vetoed a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood contributed to Obama’s campaign.

The Trump administration also approved a Title X rule change in February that could cut Planned Parenthood funding by up to $60 million. The rule required health care providers to be physically separated from abortion providers in order to be eligible for federal funds.

Demonstrators gather during a protest vigil in Washington, on Jan. 17, 2019. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Demonstrators gather during a protest vigil in Washington, on Jan. 17, 2019. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Fifteen states had defunded Planned Parenthood by the end of 2016, according to data reviewed by The Daily Signal, a media arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Planned Parenthood performs more than one-third of all abortions in the United States, at a rate of more than 900 abortions per day, according to its annual report.

In late 2017, the Department of Justice asked for documents related to a Senate committee’s report on the transfer of fetal tissue by abortion provider Planned Parenthood.

The Department of Justice’s investigation will likely revive the controversy over fetal tissue transfers, which was sparked by videos released by the Center for Medical Progress in 2015.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney (C), national director of the Christian Defense Coalition, prays with Stanton Healthcare Founder and CEO Brandi Swindell (R) outside Planned Parenthood Carol Whitehill Moses Center in Washington, on May 5, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The videos showed Planned Parenthood officials negotiating prices for fetal tissues collected from abortions. Planned Parenthood argued that the videos were deceptively edited, but the 5th Circuit Court rejected the abortion corporation’s talking point in January, ruling that the videos were “authentic and not deceptively edited.”

The federal circuit court noted that Planned Parenthood executives have admitted to illegally altering abortion procedures and circumventing the partial-birth abortion ban in order to procure intact aborted baby bodies for greater profit. In one example, Planned Parenthood abortionists would sign a form stating that they did not “intend” to retrieve an intact fetus, purportedly to circumvent federal statutes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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