Ohio Bill To 'Defund Planned Parenthood' Heads To Governor

Ohio Senate President Keith Faber in 2015, speaking at a Greater Columbus Right to Life rally at the Statehouse. (Statehouse Bureau)
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There was an outburst in the Ohio House after it voted 59-32 to pass a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Our Statehouse reporter Jo Ingles says the bill now awaits Governor Kasich’s signature.

That bill strips from the organization more than $1.3 million earmarked for cancer screenings, HIV testing and services other than abortions.

But backers of this bill say the money would be better spent at community health clinics throughout the state. Opponents of the bill say there are not enough clinics throughout Ohio that can provide those services.

The bill had to come through the House again because the Senate added $250,000 to combat infant mortality. And even though Democrats said they liked that part of the plan, most voted against the bill.

Stephanie Kight with Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio said she doesn’t think it’s an accident that Kasich will be signing the bill after the New Hampshire primary yet before the one in conservative South Carolina.

But Statehouse Correspondent Karen Kasler reports Ohio Senate President Keith Faber says he doesn’t think that Kasich is trying to time the signing of the bill to boost his credibility with conservative voters.

“On pro-life issues, John Kasich is a good, pro-life – he’s got a long track record of being pro-life. He was specifically asked the question at one of the New Hampshire town halls I was at on defunding Planned Parenthood. He said, ‘look, Planned Parenthood’s going to be defunded.’ He’s pretty clear on that,” Faber said.

Planned Parenthood has said that it’s unlikely that the loss of this funding will mean it will close its clinics in Ohio, but it does represent a loss of money that will have to be made up, or some services may have to be scaled back.

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