Members of the media can contact Lauren Blauvelt-Copelin, Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Advocacy, at 614-586-2848.
Below, please find releases from Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, a 501(c)(3) health care provider. To find releases about legislative or political activity from our advocacy arm, please visit Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio. You will leave www.plannedparenthood.org and be directed to a website operated by an independent Planned Parenthood 501(c)(4) entity. You will be redirected to: http://www.ppao.org/about-us/
August 12, 2016
Tenth State Law to Topple in 7 Weeks
Washington, D.C. – Just now, a federal district court judge permanently blocked a sweeping Ohio law, protecting over 70,000 free STD screenings, cancer screenings, thousands of HIV tests for at-risk communities, and the largest infant mortality prevention program in the state. Find a copy of the order here and more details on the case in this backgrounder. This follows a wave of victories for reproductive health and rights since the landmark ruling from the Supreme Court on June 27th, with courts now having blocked laws in 10 states including in Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Kansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
“Today’s ruling is a win for the Ohioans who rely on us for care. Planned Parenthood will not stop fighting until every person can receive the essential health care they need. Momentum is on our side – these attacks on reproductive health care will fall one by one. We are not going back.”
Statement from Iris E. Harvey, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio
“Today’s ruling supports the rights of all Ohioans to access needed health care. This law would have been especially burdensome to communities of color and people with low income who already often have the least access to care – this law would have made a bad situation worse. Politicians have no business blocking patients from the care they need – and today the court stopped them in their tracks.”
Statement from Jerry Lawson, CEO, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio
“This victory is critically important for thousands of Ohioans across our state. The people of Ohio should not have their access to critical health care blocked because of political agendas.”
Planned Parenthood is represented in this case by WilmerHale, Cincinnati-based law firm Gerhardstein & Branch, and lawyers from Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
July 14, 2016
Program will address high infant mortality rate in northeast Ohio
Columbus, Ohio - Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio today announced they received grants from the Cleveland Foundation and St. Luke's Foundation to fund an innovative prenatal care pilot program at four Planned Parenthood Health Centers in Cuyahoga County.
The program will expand prenatal services, including innovative practices like telemedicine and increase community partnerships to reduce infant mortality and preterm births.
President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Iris E. Harvey released the following statement in response:
"The new innovative prenatal care program will allow Planned Parenthood to reach even more mothers, children, and families than ever before. Through the generosity of the Cleveland Foundation and St. Luke’s Foundation, Planned Parenthood will further its efforts to utilize technology to leverage our health care expertise in addressing Ohio’s infant mortality epidemic.
"By increasing access to some of the most basic prenatal services - such as routine screenings, prenatal vitamins, prenatal visits, and smooth transition to care after birth - Planned Parenthood will continue to do its part in strengthening communities within Cuyahoga County.
"Planned Parenthood is uniquely positioned to quickly and seamlessly connect pregnant women with the critical prenatal care they need and deserve. Launching this pilot program will further expand our affordable, high quality health care services for the women, men, and young people in northeast Ohio."
Ohio is the 47th worst state in the nation for infant mortality 49th worst state overall for African American infant mortality. Cuyahoga County is especially challenged with the infant mortality rate of 8.7 per 1,000 babies – meaning that almost 9 babies out of every 1,000 did not celebrate a first birthday. This new program will work to address this problem in northeast Ohio.
June 20, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio—Columbus City Council voted today to pass a measure that would protect women and men in Ohio who visit reproductive health centers, including Planned Parenthood.
Iris E. Harvey, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, gave the following statement in response:
“On behalf of our patients and their families, I would like to thank members of Columbus City Council for taking action that will directly improve the health and safety of women and men in Columbus, Ohio. Every person has the right to access health care safely and free of harassment.
“We are living in a time when extremists are furthering vitriolic rhetoric that contributes to an aggressive climate for those seeking and providing reproductive health care, which includes safe and legal abortion services.
“Planned Parenthood urges those in leadership positions to follow the lead of Columbus City Council in supporting measures that help women, men, and young people as a means of strengthening our Ohio communities.”
June 3, 2016
COLUMBUS — This June (LGBT Pride Month), Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio is proud to reaffirm its commitment to the rights and health of LGBTQ people. Planned Parenthood’s doors are open to everyone, and we take pride in providing high-quality health care for LGBTQ people in our community.
“In June, and every day of the year, Planned Parenthood stands with LGBTQ people. We see you. We care about you. We are here for you—no matter where you live, no matter what,” said Iris E. Harvey, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio.
“We believe that reproductive rights are deeply connected to civil rights for all Americans. We have long stood with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the struggle for full equality — many of whom are young, and turn to Planned Parenthood for health care, information and education that they can’t get elsewhere.
“We believe that everyone deserves high-quality, affordable health care and compassionate, respectful sexual health information, and that’s what we’re committed to continuing to provide to the LGBTQ community, and all Ohioans, for years to come.”
During the month of June, Planned Parenthood will participate in events across the state in celebration and support of the LGBTQ community.
June 1, 2016
COLUMBUS— An order filed in Federal Court today will extend the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) through August 5, 2016. A hearing has been set for August 2, 2016. In doing so, implementation of a law that would defund Planned Parenthood and strip thousands of people across the state of vital health care has once again been delayed.
Iris E. Harvey, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, made the following statement in response to the news:
“Without the action by the court today, some of Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens would be left without health care options. Especially for families in underserved areas, Planned Parenthood is the only place to turn. Our government should be supporting programs that serve to improve the health and safety of our communities, not using Ohioans as political pawns. We want the people of Ohio to know one thing: Our doors are staying open, no matter what.”
May 23, 2016
Washington, D.C. – Today, a federal district court issued a temporary restraining order to protect access to health care and education for tens of thousands of Ohioans, including 70,000+ free STD & HIV tests, cancer screenings, and Planned Parenthood’s Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program. More details on the health services at risk can be found here. The law remains blocked until June 6 while the court considers Planned Parenthood’s request for a preliminary injunction.
In the order, Judge Michael R. Barrett recognized Plaintiffs’ arguments that, if enforced, the law would be “depriving thousands of Ohioans of high-quality, affordable health care services and education programs.” He pointed to how Planned Parenthood affiliates “conduct approximately 50 percent of the STD tests in the state of Ohio each year” and how “officials in Canton have reported that they have not been able to locate a replacement for PPGOH under this [HIV Prevention Program].”
This victory comes as Planned Parenthood fights to protect and expand access to care across the country in 15 lawsuits the nonprofit has filed since July. Since then, politicians in at least 24 states have threatened care at Planned Parenthood health centers. According to the Congressional Budget Office, if patients who rely on public health programs are blocked from coming to Planned Parenthood, up to 650,000 people would face decreased access to health care in just a one-year period.
Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“We applaud the court’s decision to protect access to health care and education at Planned Parenthood. State lawmakers around the country have been waging a political war on preventive care at Planned Parenthood, putting people’s health and lives at risk in the process. Since July, politicians in 24 states have tried to strip women of basic health care, and in Ohio, they were just stopped in their tracks. Yet litigation alone cannot combat the tidal wave of attacks we’ve seen in recent months. It shouldn’t take a lawsuit to protect birth control and cancer screenings for our patients – but we’ll keep fighting for them across the country.”
Statement from Jerry Lawson, CEO, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio:
“This ruling is a victory for the tens of thousands of Ohioans that rely on Planned Parenthood for care each year. Our state legislators want to ban abortion across the board, and they were willing to decimate access to preventive care in the process. But this isn’t about politics for our patients, it’s about their health and their lives. If you have a lump in your breast or need an HIV test, lawmakers should be making it easier, not harder, to get the care you need.”
Statement from Iris E. Harvey, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio:
“Today, the courts rejected Governor Kasich and Ohio Legislators’ attack on people who already have the least access to care. They attempted to block Planned Parenthood patients from care, all in the name of politics. Politicians had gone as far as to claim women can get cancer screenings at food banks. The court just called their bluff. Politicians have no business restricting women’s health, and today, the court agreed.”
The lawsuit was filed earlier this month by WilmerHale, as well as the Cincinnati-based firm Gerhardstein & Branch and lawyers from PPFA.
May 11, 2016
Washington, D.C. – Planned Parenthood today filed suit in federal district court in Ohio to protect access to health care and education for tens of thousands of Ohioans, including free HIV tests, cancer screenings, domestic violence education through the Violence Against Women Act, much-needed sex education for youth in foster care and the juvenile detention system, and Planned Parenthood’s Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program. This law would have an outsized impact on groups who have historically faced systemic barriers in accessing quality health care, including people with low incomes and communities of color. For a copy of the filed complaint seeking relief before the law takes effect on May 23, please click here.
Since July, Planned Parenthood has filed suit in 15 cases to protect access to care at our health centers -- though litigation alone will not combat the surge of attacks since last July. In the last week alone, we have filed suit in two states and three states have enacted “defunding” measures. Since July, politicians in at least 24 states have taken action to “defund” Planned Parenthood and block care at Planned Parenthood health centers. This unprecedented wave of attacks could have devastating consequences for women, men and young people across the country in decreasing access to basic health care. According to the Congressional Budget Office, if patients who rely on public health programs are blocked from coming to Planned Parenthood, up to 650,000 people would face decreased access to health care in just a one-year period.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
"Since July, politicians in 24 states have tried to strip women of basic health care, and several, like Ohio, have done just that. If this isn't cause for alarm, I don't know what is. State lawmakers have been waging a political war on care at Planned Parenthood, putting the health and lives of women at risk in the process. We'll continue to fight in court for our patients in Ohio and across the country. The sad fact is, in 2016, it shouldn't take a lawsuit to protect every person's fundamental right to quality health care."
Statement from Jerry Lawson, CEO, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio:
“For our patients, it’s not about politics, it’s about their health and their lives. If you have a lump in your breast or need an HIV test, lawmakers should be making it easier, not harder, to get the care you need. Politicians in Ohio will stop at nothing to ban abortion, and they’re willing to decimate access to preventive care in the process. Rest assured, we will leave no stone unturned to protect access to care for the Ohioans who trust and rely on us.”
Statement from Iris E. Harvey, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio:
“We are in court because everyone deserves access to quality, affordable, compassionate care no matter who you are or where you are from. Let’s call this what it is, an attack on people who already have the least access to care, all in the name of politics. Lawmakers have gone so far as to claim that women can get cancer screenings at food banks. This goes to show why politicians in Columbus have no business writing laws about women’s health.”
In February, Governor John Kasich signed a sweeping law that bars Planned Parenthood health centers from providing care and educational services through several public programs – despite overwhelming opposition from public health experts and Ohioans in Columbus and online. Under the Kasich administration, Ohio has passed 18 anti-women’s health measures,and nearly half of all health centers that provided safe, legal abortion have shuttered since he took office. Planned Parenthood filed suit in Ohio to fight for the right of low-income Ohioans to access critical services.
This legislation slashes Planned Parenthood’s Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program – despite Ohio having one of the highest infant mortality rates for African Americans in the nation. It is the largest infant mortality prevention program in the state and serves hundreds of new or expectant mothers annually. Mahoning County Health Commissioner Pat Sweeney said: “They [Planned Parenthood] are very active and very effective. They specifically target women in the most at-risk population and work with those women to help with the significant issues of housing and food and employment, really significant issues, not just their health care.” Sweeney continued, “It’s going to be a really hard blow to the community.”
This law would also end access to nearly 70,000 free STD screenings that Planned Parenthood provides through the CDC STD Prevention program. It would also cut more than 5,000 free HIV and STD tests for individuals with higher risk factors for HIV, particularly within communities of African American women and men who have sex with men. Ohio has the 5th and 6th highest number of gonorrhea and chlamydia diagnoses in the country, respectively, and was ranked 12th nationwide in the number of HIV diagnoses. Jessica Sherman from the AIDS Resource Center testified against the bill saying: “We need to increase the number of cancer and STI screenings and people on birth control. If you want to improve health, then cutting this funding would be devastating and would be a giant step backward. When you cut funding, you say that women don’t deserve this reproductive health access.”
Blocking care at Planned Parenthood has very real and devastating consequences for the communities served. After Scott County, Indiana, forced the local Planned Parenthood health center to shut its doors in 2013, the community was left with nowhere to turn for HIV testing and education as the county faces an unprecedented HIV outbreak, which Governor Mike Pence deemed an “epidemic.” In Texas, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that blocking patients from going to Planned Parenthood led to a 35% decline in women on Medicaid using the most effective methods of birth control and a dramatic 27% spike in births among women who had previously had access to injectable contraception through Medicaid.
Planned Parenthood health centers serve an outsized role in meeting the health care needs of those who rely on federally funded health programs. More than half of Planned Parenthood's health centers across the U.S. are in rural or medically underserved areas, meaning that often without Planned Parenthood, patients would have nowhere else to turn for reproductive health care. Approximately forty percent of patients served by Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio are low-income. Seventy-five percent of the patients served by Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio are low-income.
The plaintiffs are represented by WilmerHale, as well as the Cincinnati-based firm Gerhardstein & Branch and lawyers from PPFA.
April 12, 2016
Columbus, OH — In recognition of National Minority Health Month and National Minority Cancer Awareness Week, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio (PPGOH) is joining the national call for people to make themselves, their health, and their community a top priority. National Minority Health Month is a community mobilization campaign across the country highlighting the fact that many in the African-American, non-Latino/Latino American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities experience greater challenges accessing health care and health outcomes, as well as seeks to raise awareness of the needs of these communities.
“Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio is proud to provide people the respectful, high-quality, affordable health care they need no matter who they are and no matter where they live. We know that when people are truly cared for, they make their lives, their families, and their communities better and healthier,” said Nicole Evans, Marketing and Communications Director. “We urge people across Ohio to use this opportunity to take care of your health, your family, and your community.”
Health disparities in racial and ethnic diverse communities remain a serious issue, and Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio works every day to empower communities towards health equity. Many people of color face greater obstacles to obtaining, and benefiting from, sexual and reproductive health care services. Yet, people of color remain in the greatest needs for preventive health care like lifesaving cancer screenings, testing and treatment for STDs, Pap tests, and health education. For example:
- Among women diagnosed with breast cancer, African-American women are the most likely to die from the disease.
- American Indian women are more likely to die from cervical cancer than white women.
- Asian-American women are 10 percent more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than white women.
- Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander’s rate of HIV infection is almost twice their non-Latino white counterparts.
- Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Latinas.
“Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio works every day for healthy families, healthy babies, and healthy communities throughout Ohio,” said Nicole Evans. “We are proud to be part of this important work, especially when it comes to cancer prevention. We are committed to working with diverse communities during National Minority Cancer Awareness Week — and every day — to detect cancer early, which helps save lives.”
Every year, PPGOH provides lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, testing and treatment for STDs, breast health services, and Pap tests to 60,000 women, men, and young people and our Education and Outreach programs reach out to more than 45,000 individuals in Ohio. Planned Parenthood health centers offer affordable, quality preventive health care — no matter what.
April 4, 2016
COLUMBUS, Ohio – April 4, 2016 - Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio (PPGOH) and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio (PPAO) are pleased to announce that Iris E. Harvey has been unanimously elected by the Board of Directors to serve as the next president and CEO of both organizations. Harvey succeeds Stephanie Kight, who recently accepted a position with Planned Parenthood Federation of America in Washington, D.C. Harvey’s tenure will commence on April 4, 2016.
Harvey served on the PPGOH Board of Directors since 2011, and was board chair in 2015. Harvey brings more than 25 years of organizational leadership in the public and private sectors. She comes to Planned Parenthood from Kent State University where she was the vice president for university relations. In this role, she served as the chief strategist advising the university on advancing its brand, image and reputation, as well as highlighting its economic impact on Ohio communities. Harvey’s private sector experience includes vice president positions with Citigroup, as well as CEO of Market Strategies & Solutions, Inc., a consulting firm she founded and operated while living in Japan.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we would like to thank Stephanie Kight for her leadership, commitment, and service to Planned Parenthood. During her nearly four-year tenure, she transformed our business and has solidly positioned Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio to be even more successful in the future,” stated PPGOH Board Chair Jennifer McNally.
McNally continued, “Iris Harvey is the ideal leader to continue to build upon our organization’s strong foundation. She is committed to the mission to promote healthy sexuality and reproductive choice through the delivery of exceptional health services, honest education, and fearless advocacy. She brings the skills to clearly articulate and foster that commitment among staff, board, donors, legislators, volunteers, and the community at large.”
Harvey stated, “Planned Parenthood is a respected, vibrant community organization. As the institution prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary, I am honored to have the opportunity to work alongside a deeply committed staff, an engaged board, a passionate donor community, and a significant volunteer network. Together we will ensure Planned Parenthood sustainability and growth in Ohio.”
Harvey is a Fulbright Scholar and Ford Foundation Scholar. She earned her B.S. in business administration and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California. She also holds an Ed.S. degree from The George Washington University.
March 30, 2016
COLUMBUS—Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new label for Mifeprex (mifepristone), one of the medicines used in a medication abortion. Currently, Ohio is one of several states with laws on the books that require medical professionals to adhere to the old label with an outdated, inferior and less effective regimen.
While it is widely accepted standard medical practice for medicines to be used in different protocols than those upon which the FDA issues approval, Ohio medical professionals can now use the most up-to-date, medically accurate doses and act in accordance with the law.
Barbara Singhaus, Chief Operating Officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio gave the following statement in response to yesterday’s announcement:
“This is yet another affirmation from the FDA that medication abortion is a safe and effective option to end an early pregnancy. The fact that doctors in Ohio will be able to operate in accordance with best medical practice represents a significant step forward for science, for women, and for health care providers who want to give our patients the highest quality care.
At Planned Parenthood, we understand that decisions about pregnancy are deeply personal. Whether a patient chooses to end her pregnancy or to carry it to term, our job is to give her expert care and respectful support along the way. We will continue what we have been doing in Ohio for nearly 90 years – protecting access to affordable, high quality reproductive care for the women, men and young people that rely on Planned Parenthood.”
The new label updates the protocol for medication abortion so it reflects the most common evidence-based protocols recommended by Planned Parenthood, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Family Planning. The FDA’s approval of the new label is based on substantial evidence demonstrating that medication abortion is safe for virtually all women.
March 8, 2016
Columbus, OH - Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and the Athens Community Leadership Council are pleased to announce the 28th annual Jazz and Champagne Affaire on Friday, March 18th beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Eclipse Company Store in The Plains. All proceeds from the event go towards health and educational programming sponsored by Planned Parenthood’s Athens health center.
“This year’s Jazz and Champagne Affaire is an opportunity for members of the community to demonstrate their support for Planned Parenthood’s longstanding presence in the Athens area while enjoying an evening of food, live music, dancing, and fun,” stated Ken Brown, Ph.D., chair of the Athens Community Leadership Council.
Brown continued, “Now more than ever, community support for Planned Parenthood is critical. A recently enacted bill will cut $1.3 million dollars in support that will directly impact Planned Parenthood’s ability to proactively offer educational programs, STD testing and treatment, as well as free and/or low cost birth control options.”
This year’s Roaring 20s themed affair will feature live and silent auctions. Featured items in the auctions include weekend getaways, wine baskets, uniquely Athens dining experiences, and one-of-a-kind art works.
March 7, 2016
Columbus, OH - In response to the recent vandalism at Planned Parenthood's East Columbus Surgical Center spokesperson, Nicole Evans, Marketing and Communications Director of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio issued the following statement:
“Today, like every day, our unwavering commitment is to the health and safety of our patients and staff. We have strong security measures in place to ensure that our health centers are safe, supportive, welcoming environments for all people to get the high-quality health care they need.
“As we’ve seen today, the increase in vitriolic, hateful rhetoric is alarming. These attacks are perpetuated by extreme individuals who continue to invoke lies and smear videos to demonize Planned Parenthood and the 80,000 Ohioans who come to us for basic health care.
“The individuals responsible for this act hope to send a signal that using acts of violence will intimidate health care professionals and the women we serve. They are wrong. At Planned Parenthood, our doors will stay open --- no matter what. We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide Ohioans with the reproductive health care they need and deserve.”
January 28, 2016
Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio,
Hires Amelia Hayes Managing Director of Public Affairs
Columbus, OH - Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio is proud to announce that Amelia Hayes will serve as the new Managing Director of Public Affairs for the organization.
As the Managing Director of Public Affairs, Ms. Hayes’ responsibilities will include overseeing and coordinating departmental strategies for effective leadership in the areas of grassroots, advocacy, public policy, legislation, and public education.. She and her team will be responsible for organizing and field work on the broad range of issues affecting reproductive choice, including family planning comprehensive sexuality education, and access to abortion services.
“Ms. Hayes’ experience in community organizing and public policy make her great match for carrying out and the strengthening of the mission of Planned Parenthood,” said Stephanie Kight, President and CEO of PPGOH. Kight goes on to say, “As a native Ohioan, Ms. Hayes’ passion for organizing and protecting access to affordable, respectful health care will be complimented by to supporting comprehensive public policies.”
Prior to joining Planned Parenthood, Ms. Hayes was employed by Policy Matters Ohio, a prominent statewide policy research organization. During her time there her primary responsibility was community outreach, coalition building with a focus on health care and infant mortality. Prior to that time, she served as a legislative aide for State Representatives Fred Strahorn and Kenny Yuko.
“Ms. Hayes’ commitment to intersectionality in organizing and influential public policy will be critical as she navigates the organization through the sharply politically charged legislative landscape,” concluded Kight.
Ms. Hayes joined the Planned Parenthood team on January 25, 2016.
January 27, 2016
OHIO SENATE VOTES TO DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD
COLUMBUS, OH — The Ohio General Assembly voted today to defund Planned Parenthood and strip Ohioans of access to critical preventative health care services like breast and cervical cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment and HIV testing.
Stephanie Kight, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, released the following statement:
“Planned Parenthood's doors are staying open, and we will continue to provide safe, affordable, respectful health care services to young women and men in Ohio.
"But today, the Ohio General Assembly, once again, chose politics over people. For months, these out of touch politicians have heard testimony from patients who received essential, live saving care through these programs; and from health care professionals who spoke to the critical health care services that Planned Parenthood provides to tens of thousands of Ohio women and men. In spite of the facts, they chose political points over the health and safety of Ohioans, and in doing so they have harmed some of Ohio's most vulnerable citizens.
"This is not what Ohioans want. 65 percent of Ohioans are opposed to cutting access to care at Planned Parenthood -- and over the last few months, hundreds have protested at the statehouse and thousands more have spoken out online. Gov. Kasich must listen to his constituents and veto this bill.
December 18, 2015
Columbus, OH -- One week after Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine went directly to press with inflammatory and false allegations about Planned Parenthood’s handling of fetal tissue, he is backing down from his threats to take legal action. This comes just days after Planned Parenthood won a legal victory when a federal court issued a temporary restraining order to protect women’s access to safe, legal abortion in Ohio.
Planned Parenthood’s health centers comply with all laws and regulations regarding safe fetal tissue disposal that is respectful. Fetal tissue is handled by a licensed removal company, just like other health care providers use for all types of medical material. Since 1974, Ohio has required that fetal tissue be disposed of in a safe and respectful manner. In its threats against the nonprofit, the state claimed that Planned Parenthood was in violation of this regulation, despite the fact that for decades, Planned Parenthood has followed these regulations and has never been cited by the state for violation. In fact, the Ohio Department of Health inspected the three Planned Parenthood’s health centers cited by DeWine just this August, and found all three to be in compliance with the law.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Mike DeWine’s retreat in Ohio should serve as a warning to other states --- these baseless and inflammatory political attacks are not going to fly. Lies and extreme politicians will not stop Planned Parenthood from providing essential reproductive health care --- including safe and legal abortion --- in Ohio and across the country.”
Statement from Jerry Lawson, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio:
“Just like other quality medical providers, Planned Parenthood works with licensed medical removal companies to handle fetal tissue respectfully and safely. The Ohio Department of Health concluded this in August. At Planned Parenthood, we remain focused on providing care to the women in Ohio who count on us.”
Statement from Stephanie Kight, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio:
“It didn’t take long to expose what DeWine’s true agenda was -- banning access to safe and legal abortion in Ohio. We talk with patients on a case-by-case basis to answer all of their questions and have always handled fetal tissue in a safe and respectable manner in accordance with the law. We will never stop providing Ohioans with high-quality, personalized care --- no matter what.”
Politicians in Ohio, including the Governor and Attorney General, have done everything possible to eliminate access to safe, legal abortion -- secretly writing abortion restrictions into law, enacting 17 anti-women’s health measures in the last five years, and even appointing the head of Ohio Right to Life to the state medical board. In recent years, Ohio has shuttered over one third of health centers that provide abortion in the state, more than any other state but Texas, even forcing women to cross the border into Michigan to get abortions.
Last Friday, the Attorney General also confirmed that the accusations that Planned Parenthood "sold fetal tissue" were completely unfounded and untrue. These false claims have been made and disproved over and over again. Officials in eight other states (Washington, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and South Dakota) have now cleared Planned Parenthood affiliates of all wrongdoing. In addition, seven states (Iowa, Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Colorado) have declined to even investigate Planned Parenthood — finding nothing to substantiate claims of wrongdoing. These new accusations that Planned Parenthood is improperly disposing of fetal tissue are flat-out false.
December 13, 2015
Planned Parenthood Files Federal Lawsuit to Protect Abortion Access in Ohio
Lawsuit says Planned Parenthood handles medical tissue like other health care providers, and attack from state is attempt to ban abortion
Columbus, OH -- Attorneys for Planned Parenthood affiliates in Ohio filed suit today in federal court to protect access to safe, legal abortion for women in Ohio. On Friday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine went directly to press with inflammatory and false allegations against Planned Parenthood -- claiming in a press conference that the nonprofit improperly handled fetal tissue, which is absolutely not true. Planned Parenthood learned of these claims through press—rather than through formal communication with the Department of Health—and the attorney general failed to allow Planned Parenthood to address these false allegations. On the basis of these bogus claims, DeWine threatened to take legal action against Planned Parenthood, and to introduce legislation that would further restrict access to abortion in Ohio.
The Governor and Attorney General in Ohio have done everything possible to eliminate access to safe, legal abortion -- secretly writing abortion restrictions into law, working to close health centers, and even appointing the head of Ohio Right to Life to the state medical board. In recent years, Ohio has shuttered more abortion providers than any other state but Texas, even forcing women to cross the border into Michigan to get abortions.
Statement from Jerry Lawson, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio:
“Planned Parenthood handles medical tissue just like other health care providers do. We work with licensed medical removal companies to handle fetal tissue respectfully and safely. It's clear from the Attorney General's press conference that we've acted properly and legally, and this is just part of his longstanding political agenda to ban abortion in all cases. We won’t let that happen.”
Statement from Stephanie Kight, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio:
“The reality is that we handle medical tissue just like other health care providers do, and we always have. We’re inspected regularly to ensure that we’re handling fetal tissue properly and legally. Politicians in Ohio will stop at nothing to ban abortion in all cases in our state. Today, we’re asking a federal court to prevent the state from this plainly political attempt to restrict women’s access to safe and legal abortion.”
Planned Parenthood’s health centers comply with all laws and regulations that require safe fetal tissue disposal that is respectful. Fetal tissue is handled by a licensed removal company, just like other health care providers use for all types of medical material. Ohio’s requirements for how fetal tissue should be disposed of have been in place since 1974. The state is now claiming that Planned Parenthood is in violation of this regulation, despite the fact that for decades, Planned Parenthood has followed these regulations and has never been cited by the state for violation. In fact, the Ohio Department of Health has inspected Planned Parenthood’s health centers annually for the last decade, and at no time have they raised concerns about these practices.
On Friday, Ohio's Attorney General confirmed that the accusations that Planned Parenthood "sold fetal tissue" were completely unfounded and untrue. These false claims have been made and disproved over and over again. Officials in eight other states (Washington, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and South Dakota) have now cleared Planned Parenthood affiliates of all wrongdoing. In addition, seven states (Iowa, Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Colorado) have declined to even investigate Planned Parenthood — finding nothing to substantiate claims of wrongdoing. These new accusations that Planned Parenthood is improperly disposing of fetal tissue are also flat-out false.
December 11, 2015
Columbus, OH --- In response to the Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine’s inflammatory and false report released today in regards to Planned Parenthood, Stephanie Kight, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, issued the following statement:
“As we have always maintained, and as the Attorney General has now confirmed, the original accusations that Planned Parenthood “sold fetal tissue” were completely unfounded and untrue.
“These new allegations by the Attorney General that we are improperly disposing of fetal tissue are flat-out false. Planned Parenthood handles medical tissue like any other quality health care provider. Our agreements with vendors all require them to follow state law, and dispose of tissue accordingly. If they are not, then I will take swift action.
“This is an administration that has done everything possible to eliminate access to abortion in Ohio --- secretly writing laws, working to close health centers, and even appointing the head of Ohio Right to Life to the state medical board. We are seriously concerned that this report is not the result of meaningful investigation, but instead yet another attack on women’s access to health care in the state of Ohio intended to end our ability to continue to provide safe, legal abortion.”
Officials in eight other states (Washington, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and South Dakota) have now cleared Planned Parenthood affiliates of all wrongdoing. In addition, seven states (Iowa, Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Colorado) have declined to even investigate Planned Parenthood — finding nothing to substantiate claims of wrongdoing.
In Ohio, John Kasich and his administration have proven they will do anything to ban access to safe and legal abortion. Internal emails obtained by the Associated Press show Governor John Kasich and his administration secretly worked to craft provisions that would ban access to safe, legal abortion in Ohio.
Kasich’s Administration has passed increasingly severe restrictions on abortion --- restrictions that have led to the shuttering of over one-third of Ohio’s health centers that provide abortion. Most recently, both the House and Senate have passed legislation that threatens access to reproductive care for 80,000 Ohioans
Through budget provisions and legislation, John Kasich has signed 17 anti-women’s health measures, decimating women’s access to health care in Ohio.
Of the 28 Planned Parenthood health centers in Ohio, 26 of them are in rural or medically underserved areas, meaning that without Planned Parenthood, many patients would literally have nowhere else to turn for essential, preventive reproductive health care.
NOVEMBER 27, 2015
COLUMBUS—Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio released a statement in response to the active shooter situation in and near the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs today.
Stephanie Kight, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio made the following statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families who have been affected by this tragedy. We condemn this heinous act of violence, regardless of the motive behind it.
This situation is still developing, and at this moment we don't yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this tragic event, or if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack.
Planned Parenthood's main concern now is the safety and ongoing security of our patients and staff, in Colorado and around the country. No one deserves to be a victim of senseless violence, whether it is based on their gender, skin color, profession, or decision to access essential medical services.
We are grateful to the law enforcement and first responders who work to keep our communities safe and we will continue to work closely with this group to keep our patients, staff and health centers safe. Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio has strong security measures in place, works closely with law enforcement agencies, and has a very strong safety record.
As we have for the last 87 years in Ohio, Planned Parenthood will continue to provide the compassionate, respectful care our patients deserve. We will never back away from providing care in safe and supportive environment for millions that rely on us in Ohio and across the nation.”
November 27, 2015
New York—Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Clergy Advocacy Board released a statement in response to the active shooter situation in and near the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs today.
In the wake of the violent assault on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, our hearts go out to the victims and their families. We pray healing for the injured, comfort for those who mourn and give thanks for the devoted staff of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountain and first responders who put themselves in harm’s way to protect and defend their fellow citizens. We stand with Planned Parenthood and their continued commitment to provide care in the safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust for quality healthcare. We also pray for an end to the climate of violence and polarization that grips our nation -- asking for the will and wisdom to overcome hatred with hope, fear with trust and violence with compassion.
And so we pray with heart and mind that God of many names, Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that all nations and peoples may make known your values of love, hope and justice. Amen.
November 4, 2015
COLUMBUS—Ohioans gave testimony today against HB 294, the House version of the bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
Individuals from all over the state shared their stories of why Planned Parenthood is important and why taking away the services it provides would be ruinous to our communities. From patients, to staff, to supporters, all brought with them a consistent message: that Planned Parenthood is a vital reproductive health care provider for women and men in Ohio.
Carmen Winant, a Columbus resident, gave the following testimony in support of Planned Parenthood:
“The first time I came into Planned Parenthood I was a scared sixteen year old who did not want to have a child of my own; the second time I was an adult who did. In both cases, I was given fantastic heath care, treated with respect, professionalism and dignity by the doctors, nurses and receptionists, and not charged hand over fist for my care. I’m so grateful to this place, which does a service not only for women, but all citizens. Women needn’t feel shame about getting heath care and making choices about our bodies: we should celebrate and defend this right.
Kimberly Hardesty a Planned Parenthood Health Educator in Chillicothe spoke about the importance of the educational programs Planned Parenthood provides:
“Dismantling this successful program Planned Parenthood has established is a disservice to my colleagues and the teens we serve. We are experts in the field of sexual and reproductive health. We provide medically accurate information to those whom we teach”
July 16, 2015
New York, NY – Today, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued a video in response to a heavily edited and secretly recorded videotape falsely portraying Planned Parenthood’s participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research.
To view Planned Parenthood’s video, see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZUjU4e4fUI&feature=youtu.be
A full transcript of the video is below:
Hello. I’m Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Planned Parenthood provides a full range of health care services to millions of women, men, and young people every year, including cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and abortion. And we provide much more than health services – we support millions of people as they build their futures and pursue their goals.
Recently, an organization that opposes safe and legal abortion used secretly recorded, heavily edited videos to make outrageous claims about programs that help women donate fetal tissue for medical research.
I want to be really clear: The allegation that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true. Our donation programs – like any other high-quality health care providers – follow all laws and ethical guidelines. Over our 100-year history, we have continually engaged leading medical experts to shape our practices, policies, and high standards – and always will.
Our top priority is the compassionate care that we provide. In the video, one of our staff members speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion. This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for the staff member's tone and statements.
As always, if there is any aspect of our work that can be strengthened, we want to know about it, and we take swift action to address it.
Planned Parenthood stands behind our work to help women and families donate tissue for medical research when they wish to. It is always their decision.
I thank those women and families who have chosen tissue donation at some point in their lives. Your commitment to lifesaving research, developing treatments for diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, is important and compassionate, and it should be respected – not attacked.
We know the real agenda of organizations behind videos like this, and they have never been concerned with protecting the health and safety of women. Their mission is to ban abortion completely and cut women off from care at Planned Parenthood and other health centers.
We will never let that happen.
July 1, 2015
March 7, 2014
January 17, 2014
December 14, 2013
PLANNED PARENTHOOD MOURNS THE LOSS OF
ROBERT LAZARUS JR
VIDEO - September 6, 2013
STEPHANIE KIGHT ADDRESSES THE CITY CLUB OF CLEVELAND
In 1929, Margaret Sanger addressed a men-only audience at the City Club of Cleveland to talk about the necessity of birth control. In 2007,Cecile Richards spoke to a much more diverse group about the value Planned Parenthood provides our communities. On Friday, September 6th,Stephanie Kight stood at the podium of the City Club of Cleveland to share the work that Planned Parenthood does for the women, men, and young people of Ohio and help others understand why we "Care. No matter what." She shared our business practices, our unwavering focus on quality, affordable health care, our commitment to comprehensive sex education, and our dedication to ensuring that Ohio women will maintain access to the health care they need, including safe and legal abortion care.