Federal Judge Prohibits State From Enforcing Planned Parenthood Funding Law

Aug 13, 2016

Credit Ohio Public Radio

The state plans to appeal Friday's order from a federal district judge that blocks a state law intended to divert public money from Planned Parenthood.

Organization officials are applauding the decision. Cecile Richards, the national head of Planned Parenthood, says momentum is on its side. She calls it a win for Ohioans who rely on Planned Parenthood for necessary health services. Anti-Abortion groups are criticizing the ruling, calling the judge an activist. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles has  details.

Federal judge Michael Barrett has banned the new mostly Republican backed law. It sought to take more than one million federal dollars for things like H-I-V tests, cancer screenings and other prevention services from Planned Parenthood. The law had been put on hold last May. Katie Franklin with Ohio Right to Life, which supported the new law, is not happy about the decision.


“Yet again, we are looking at an activist judge who is fabricating rights out of thin air for the benefit of the abortion industry.”


Franklin says the new law should be enforced because it represents the will of taxpayers.


“Well Judge Barrett’s decision is a clear violation of state rights and the conscious right of taxpayers. Planned Parenthood has no right to the hard earned dollars of taxpayers. Millions of them have an objection to Planned Parenthood’s pro-abortion business model.”


But Iris Harvey, the President of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, is applauding the ruling.


“We’re overjoyed, obviously. It validates our stand that legislation was unconstitutional.”


The state is likely to appeal the decision. But Harvey says she isn’t focused on that.


“We’ll take one step at a time. I think right now it is business as usual. We will continue to provide great health care to the people of Ohio who come to Planned Parenthood everyday and need the services. That will be uninterrupted and that’s the most important thing at this time.”


Ohio is one of ten states where laws to take money away from Planned Parenthood have been overturned in court.