Ohio Lawmakers Fight Over Cuts to Planned Parenthood

Friday, 20 Apr 2012 08:54 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Ohio lawmakers are locked in a nasty fight over whether to cut the state’s federally funded Planned Parenthood program by setting new priorities for providing family planning services, according to a report in the Columbus Dispatch.

State House Republicans have added an amendment to Gov. John Kasich’s biennial review of the program that would shift funding away from some health clinics that provide primary care and other services to women, including abortions.

Democratic Sen. Nina Turner said by denying the funds, Republicans are denying women’s rights.

“To just arbitrarily put a target on the back of Planned Parenthood cuts against the rhetoric of personal rights,” said Turner. “For people who tout small government . . .  they don’t mind having big government in women’s wombs.”

Republican state Rep. Ron Amstutz acknowledged that there is a “war over the morality of how we view life in this country.” But he denied the budget cuts are aimed at ending family planning services.

“It’s about who provides the services,” said Amstutz. “The goal is to have service providers that don’t promote abortion to have the first opportunity to receive these funds.”

According to the Dispatch, only three of Ohio’s 32 Planned Parenthood clinics perform abortions. The clinics serve about 100,000 people, mostly low-income women.

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