Money Opinion State OPINION: Why defunding Planned Parenthood is a mistake for Ohio By Madeline Kramer Posted on March 29, 2019 4 min read 0 0 132 Planned Parenthood at the Safe and Sexy social in February. Photo by Maddie Valentine. Opinion writer Maddie Kramer argues that the decision to defund Planned Parenthood is detrimental to the health of women around Ohio. Under the administration of Gov. Mike DeWine, abortion and women’s rights have risen to the forefront of important topics in Ohio. Due to the controversial “Heartbeat Bill” passing in the Ohio House of Representatives in November, which prohibits abortions if the fetus has a detectable heartbeat, the decision to defund Planned Parenthood is not much of a surprise. However, these decisions will be very damaging to Ohio’s women. Ohio moved to defund Planned Parenthood after the 6th U.S Court of Appeals upheld an anti-abortion law that blocks state funds from being “used to perform or promote non- therapeutic abortions.” This effectively prohibited Planned Parenthood from continuing to receive state funds through the Ohio Department of Health. This decision shows Ohio’s stance on abortion and that women’s health is not a priority. Planned Parenthood provides many more services than just abortion, including healthcare options for low income women and families. Planned Parenthood offers low cost birth control and emergency contraceptives, STD treatment, cervical cancer screenings, mammograms, and family planning services. Defunding Planned Parenthood takes away not only abortive services, but also access to sexual healthcare for many women. Another important aspect of Planned Parenthood is its education and advocacy efforts. Planned Parenthood has been an active part of the Women’s March and surrounding events. Access to sexual health care, especially abortions, is becoming increasingly important in modern politics. Planned Parenthood also offers educational programs and pamphlets regarding things such as STDs, general safe sex practices and childbirth. This type of supplemental information is very important, as only 24 states and the District of Columbia require sex education in schools. Of these states, only 13 require that the information be medically accurate. Thirty-seven states do require that abstinence be covered when sex education is taught, and 27 of these states require that abstinence be stressed. The education that Planned Parenthood provides is very important for many young adults who do not get information regarding safe sexual practices and STD prevention in school. This decision to defund Planned Parenthood will leave many low income women without sexual healthcare and many young adults without a source of inclusive sex education. Many Ohioans will feel the impact of this, as it is now unclear if Planned Parenthood will appeal this ruling. This is another step backward for Ohio’s women and truly shows where Ohio’s priorities are. These decisions by Ohio legislators express their lack of concern for women’s health and instead align with religious groups and ideologies.