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Planned Parenthood Redoubles Efforts to Protect Women’s Health Access in Ohio
Today the Ohio House passed the Mid-Biennium Review (MBR) budget bill (HB487) without earlier language that would have restricted thousands of women from going to Planned Parenthood. Media reports indicate that the Ohio House is still attempting to push its political agenda to restrict patient access to Planned Parenthood’s health centers as early as next week through HB 298, currently pending in the House Health and Aging Committee.
“We are pleased the language eliminating Planned Parenthood health centers in Ohio was removed today, but we know we aren’t out of the woods yet. Our patients rely on us for lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, STD tests, and other basic health care, and we’ll keep fighting to be able to serve them,” said Gary Dougherty, state legislative director for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio.
Last week, language was inserted into Ohio’s Mid-Biennium Review budget bill that would have restricted Planned Parenthood from federal family planning funds as well as funds from the Violence Against Women Act, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act, the Infertility Prevention Project, and the Minority HIV/ADS Initiative. The same committee removed the language yesterday, but House Finance and Appropriations Committee Chairman Ron Amstutz issued an ominous warning, saying the measure to restrict women’s access to Planned Parenthood would be “dealt with and acted upon in separate legislation already pending in another committee.”
“The politicians and special interest groups pushing this kind of legislation think that nobody will notice — or care — when women and men in low-income communities lose their only source of health care. ” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “One in five women in America has been to a Planned Parenthood health center. People know who we are and what we do, and they want to make sure we can continue providing high-quality health care in Ohio and around the country.”
Public opinion is with Planned Parenthood and the preventive health care provided at more than 800 health centers statewide. A February 27 National Journal poll shows that 69 percent of voters oppose Congress cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood, including women and independents. A February 23 Quinnipiac poll shows majority favorable opinion of Planned Parenthood, as well as 60 percent opposition to cutting federal funding for Planned Parenthood. A March 3 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that among women 18–49, 60 percent found it “mostly or totally unacceptable” to “eliminate funding to Planned Parenthood for family planning and preventive health services.”
FACT: Planned Parenthood works every day to keep women healthy. In fact, one in five women in America has turned to one of Planned Parenthood’s nonprofit health centers for professional, nonjudgmental and confidential care at some point in her life.
FACT: The funds at issue can ONLY be used for preventive health care, including life-saving cancer screenings, birth control, prevention and treatment of STDs, breast health services, Pap tests, sexual health education, information, and health counseling.
FACT: The funds are prohibited by law from paying for abortions.
FACT: Nationally, for every $1 spent on family planning, $3.74 is saved in averted Medicaid birth costs.