CINCINNATI, Ohio — The Ohio House of Representatives has voted to advance a bill that defunds the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, reallocating over $1.3 million in funding to other health-related groups in the state that do not perform abortions.
House Bill 294 was passed along party lines 62-30. The legislation was introduced by Representatives Bill Patmon and Margaret Conditt, and follows a Senate version that passed 23-10 last month.
“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 nontherapeutic abortions; (2) Promote nontherapeutic abortions; (3) Contract with any entity that performs or promotes nontherapeutic abortions; (4) Become or continue to be an affiliate of any entity
that performs or promotes nontherapeutic abortions,” it reads in part.
The bill also disallows funding for the HIV/AIDS initiative, the infant mortality reduction program, sexual education program and other initiatives to go to groups performing or promoting abortions.
“This is about ideological opposition to a woman’s right to choose—let’s call it what it is—by legislators who think they have the right to make a woman’s personal health care decisions,” Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) asserted during deliberations.
But Rep. Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) defended the legislation.
“I just get sick and tired of hearing a bill like this is a war on women. As a woman and a mother of three daughters, I can stand here and confidently say that the real war on women is abortion,” she said.
Others also supported the measure.
“There is no reason that the State of Ohio should be in business with the so-called ‘Walmart’ of abortion,” said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. “When an organization like Planned Parenthood ranks as one of the world’s 50 most lucrative non-profits, the State should seriously reconsider how it is allocating taxpayer dollars. We are grateful for the prudence and compassion of our elected officials in continually leading our state towards a more life-affirming culture.”
The bill will now be sent to the Ohio Senate, and if passed, will then move to the desk of Gov. John Kasich.
According to a state report, there were 21,186 abortions in the state last year, and there were 147 abortions per 1,000 live births. The majority of women obtaining abortions are unwed mothers.
“Approximately 74 percent of women who obtained an abortion [in 2014] were never married, divorced or widowed,” the report reads.