Columbus — After an appeal by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to an en banc session review the unanimous ruling that blocked John Kasich’s unconstitutional 2016 bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “Appealing this unanimous decision is outrageous. Mike DeWine would rather Ohioans not have access to the cancer screenings and HIV testing that keeps them healthy than allow Planned Parenthood to help them. He is fighting against funding for rape prevention programs. Mike DeWine is putting funds at risk that combat Ohio’s infant mortality crisis. He’s willing to do all of this just to further his anti-abortion crusade and to appeal to conservative Republican voters. Think about that.”
She continued: “The Sixth Circuit was very clear in their original unanimous ruling. Physicians must be able to provide health care and education to patients without unconstitutional restrictions on what they can say. Politicians don’t know better than doctors and shouldn’t be allowed to block them from doing their jobs.”
The bill aimed to block Planned Parenthood from receiving these state funds:
- the Violence Against Women Act;
- the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act;
- the Infertility Prevention Project;
- the Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative;
- Infant Mortality Reduction or Infant Vitality Initiatives;
- and the Personal Responsibility Education Program.
Because of broad wording, the bill could stop health departments in Ohio’s largest cities and counties from accessing these funds. Existing contracts between health care facilities and hospitals or insurance providers would trigger the funding ban at any mention of abortion options by physicians or in written materials, which would eliminate options for care. Any city or county health department that works with an independent abortion provider or contracts with a hospital that performs a single abortion in which the pregnancy is not due to rape or incest, or does not endanger the woman’s life, would be blocked from listed state funds.