In addition to restricting federal “family planning” funds, House Bill 487, sponsored by Representative Ron Amstutz and adopted without a recorded vote by members of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, prohibits the distribution to Planned Parenthood of Ohio or any of its affiliates from any of the following federal programs:
- Violence Against Women Act
- Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act
- Infertility Prevention Project (US Dept of Health & Human Services)
- Minority HIV/AIDS initiative funds (Centers for Disease Control)
In other words, Planned Parenthood is such an undesirable organization that not only do we want to prevent it from doing any family planning work (remember, the law already prohibits public funds from paying for abortions), we also don’t want them to help people with HIV/AIDS or infertility, to screen women for cervical or breast cancer, or to help victims of domestic violence.
In case there is any question about whether this is entirely about abortion, that fact is quite clear in the legislation. From Substitute HB 487:
The department of health shall ensure that all funds it receives through the Violence Against Women Act to distribute as grants for the purpose of education and prevention of violence against women are not used to do any of the following:
(1) Perform elective abortions;
(2) Promote elective abortions;
(3) Contract with any entity that performs or promotes elective abortions;
(4) Become or continue to be an affiliate of any entity that performs or promotes elective abortions.
Seventy-six percent of Planned Parenthood clients are at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. The care they are seeking ranges from testing for sexually transmitted diseases, prenatal care, contraception, cancer screening and prevention, and pregnancy testing. Abortion makes up only 3% of PP’s services. Contraception represents 34%. That means 63% of Planned Parenthood services have nothing to do with family planning.
Ohio Republicans are on a mission to end Planned Parenthood and don’t care who gets cancer, gets an STD, or receives no prenatal care during pregnancy as a result.
It’s a heartless amendment, and it’s incorporated into a budget bill which will pass before legislators take their vacations.
NARAL Ohio is urging Ohioans to call Representative Amstutz, tonight if you can (Leave a voicemail!) telling him to remove the language targeting Planned Parenthood from HB 487. His number is (614) 466-1474. Planned Parenthood has an action form you can use to email Rep. Amstutz. Or, show up at tomorrow’s hearing at 2:30 p.m. in room 313 of the Ohio Statehouse wearing pink.
Make your voice heard.
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