Ohio Lawmakers Drop Budget Provision Defunding Planned Parenthood

April 26, 2012 — Ohio House Republicans on Tuesday removed from Gov. John Kasich's (R) mid-biennium budget measure a proposal that could have cut $1.7 million in public family planning funding to Planned Parenthood, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Republicans said they cut the provision because the proposal's full effect is unclear (Siegel, Columbus Dispatch, 4/25). The proposal would have reprioritized the distribution of federal family planning funds, giving priority to local public health departments, followed by community health centers that meet federal requirements, then private primary care centers and lastly, Planned Parenthood and other independent family planning centers (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/24).

Mike Gonidakis -- president of Ohio Right to Life, which has been advocating for the measure -- said the group will shift its focus to similar legislation that is currently pending in the House. "We're not going to go away," he said, adding, "We're going to continue to advocate for money for community health centers and for local departments of health, because that's where the vast majority of women are going."

Planned Parenthood lobbyist Gary Dougherty said the group is aware of a bill pending in the House health committee and would be prepared to continue the fight. "Whatever the venue is, we're going to make sure that reproductive health care is available to women and that taxpayer funds are used as cost efficiently as possible," he said (Provance, Toledo Blade, 4/25).