Appeals Court Rules Ohio Can’t Exclude Planned Parenthood From Funding for Federal Health Programs

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CINCINNATI, Ohio — A federal appeals court has ruled that officials in Ohio cannot exclude the abortion and contraception giant Planned Parenthood from receiving funding for federal health programs, opining that it would hurt women whose “major abortion providers opted to protect women’s abortion rights rather than yield to unconstitutional conditions.”

“If Plaintiffs are excluded from the federal programs, they will no longer be able to provide the services for free. Thus, as a condition of retaining access to abortion free of undue governmental interference, Ohio women must forego the extensive and subsidized access to health services under federal programs that they previously enjoyed,” wrote Judge Helene White, appointed to the bench by then-President George H.W. Bush.

“Although Ohio women do not have a right to the programs, they do have a right not to have their access to important health services curtailed because their major abortion providers opted to protect women’s abortion rights rather than yield to unconstitutional conditions,” she said.

The decision was unanimous among the three-judge panel, which included Eugene Siler, Jr., likewise appointed by then-President George H.W. Bush, and Eric Clay, appointed by then-President Bill Clinton.

As previously reported, Gov. John Kasich signed H.B. 294 into law in February 2016, which directs the Ohio Department of Health to ensure that funds received for the federal Violence Against Women Act, Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act, the infertility prevention project, the minority HIV/AIDS initiative, and the infant mortality reduction and vitality initiatives do not go to organizations that perform “non-therapeutic” abortions.

The move was expected to result in the redistribution of $1.3 million for the programs, which upset Planned Parenthood. The organization claimed that Kasich was leaving women without any help.

“John Kasich is proudly eliminating care for expectant mothers and newborns; he is leaving thousands without vital STD and HIV testing, slashing a program to fight domestic violence, and cutting access to essential, basic health care,” asserted President Cecile Richards.

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According to reports, the largest service offered by Planned Parenthood in Ohio is testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

However, a statement by Kasich’s office said that the law does not diminish women’s choices for health care as there are 150 other organizations in the state that could possibly receive funding.

“The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has at least 150 other sub-grantees and contractors for the affected grants and projects addressing such issues as newborn babies, infant mortality, expectant mothers, violence against women, and minority HIV/AIDS,” it said.

“ODH will reallocate funding from ineligible providers under the new law to other currently eligible providers, ranging from local health departments and community organizations to hospitals and universities,” the statement  outlined.

Planned Parenthood sued to challenge the reallocation of funds, and was granted an injunction by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett.

“There is nothing within the scope of these programs related to performing abortions, promoting abortions or affiliating with an entity that performs or promotes abortions,” he wrote. “Therefore, under the unconstitutional conditions doctrine, [Ohio law] cannot condition funding for these programs based on a recipient’s exercise of the right to free speech or association outside of these programs.”

The State appealed, and on Wednesday, a mostly Republican-appointed panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Planned Parenthood.

“Ohio’s important interests in preferring childbirth to abortion, promoting life, and not subsidizing abortions have only the most tenuous relationship to [the new law]. Precluding Plaintiffs from funding under the six federal preventive-health programs that have nothing to do with abortion does little to promote these interests,” they wrote.

Read the ruling in full here.

Sanger’s newsletter “The Woman Rebel.”

As previously reported, while modern-day Planned Parenthood leaders ardently argue that abortion is a mother’s “right,” the organization’s founder, Margaret Sanger, actually wrote against abortion, stating that “the hundreds of thousands of abortions performed in America each year are a disgrace to civilization.”

“The great majority of women, however, belong to the working class. Nearly all of these women will fall into one of two general groups—the ones who are having children against their wills, and those who, to escape this evil, find refuge in abortion. Being given their choice by society—to continue to be overburdened mothers or to submit to a humiliating, repulsive, painful and too often gravely dangerous operation, those women in whom the feminine urge to freedom is strongest choose the abortionist,” she wrote.

However, Sanger’s solution to countering abortion was birth control, initially naming her organization the American Birth Control League. She decried large families, writing in a chapter of her book “Woman and the New Race”, “The most serious evil of our times is that of encouraging the bringing into the world of large families. The most immoral practice of the day is breeding too many children.” She claimed that children get lost in large families and end up in jail or as prostitutes.

Sanger was also an advocate of eugenics against the disabled, as she made a correlation between birth control and the purification of the races. She also called for the sterilization of women in the “moron class.”

“Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives,” she wrote. “If we are to make racial progress, this development of womanhood must precede motherhood in every individual woman.”

“The emergency problem of segregation and sterilization must be faced immediately,” Sanger also contended in her publication “The Pivot of Civilization.” “Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period. Otherwise, she is almost certain to bear imbecile children, who in turn are just as certain to breed other defectives.”

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