Home Social Justice Opinion: Planned Parenthood did not disappear from Ohio

Opinion: Planned Parenthood did not disappear from Ohio

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed a bill Sunday to pull state and federal funds from any clinic that performs or promotes abortions, i.e. Planned Parenthood. This is not as bad as it seems. Ohio did not close Planned Parenthood; the funding was merely redirected to other clinics to provide similar services.

There are two major affiliates of Planned Parenthood in our state: Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, which operates from the Dayton to Cincinnati areas, and Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, which has 20 health clinics, including the one here in Athens.

The bill removes about $1.4 million in funding specifically from Planned Parenthood. This amounts to less than 7 percent of the total funding Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio receives and less than 5 percent of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio’s total funding. The organization receives roughly 25 percent of its funding through donations and the rest through the fees for its services, according to an article by the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Losing 5 to 7 percent, a mere fraction of its annual budget, is by no means detrimental; it may even lead to higher donations from individuals sympathetic to Planned Parenthood’s causes. Women will not be adversely affected to the degree that the left is suggesting.

The money removed from Planned Parenthood was not specifically going toward abortion procedures. This has been championed by Democrats to make the Ohio governor seem extreme and out-of-touch. However, Ohio Republicans (like myself) view the state sponsoring an entity that advocates and provides abortions as fundamentally and morally wrong. With Republicans making up the majority of our electorate, Kasich is right to act as he did.

The money from the government was going to Planned Parenthood programs for things like sex education and HIV testing. These funds will now be redirected across Ohio to places that do not promote or provide abortions. The Ohio Department of Health has at least 150 alternative places set to receive these funds, including clinics that work on projects addressing issues such as sex education, violence against women, infant mortality and HIV/AIDS, according to a Kasich spokesman. Local health departments, community organizations, hospitals and universities are some of the places to which the funds will be redirected.

The government is no longer funding an organization that provides abortions, no matter what else it provides or to what extent abortion services are available. If you are pro-abortion rights, abortion is just as much an option as before. If you are anti-abortion rights, which the majority of Ohioans are, your government is no longer subsidizing what you view as murder of an unborn child.

Continue fighting for your cause, of course, but this bill will do good things for our political dialogue by removing from our arsenal one more partisan attack. No, the big bad Republicans did not limit access to abortion; they simply removed government funds as the majority of their constituents asked them to do. No, the Democrats do not want to go around performing abortions for the heck of it. Let’s stop the shaming and get down to the solutions. Planned Parenthood will be fine.

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