Ohio Wins Court Battle over State Law to Defund Planned Parenthood

‘Private organizations do not have a constitutional right to obtain governmental funding to support their activities…’

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Planned Parenthood / IMAGE: PPGNHI via Youtube

(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the state of Ohio can lawfully defund Planned Parenthood because it provides abortive services, allowing the state to strip the abortion network of more than $1.5 million taxpayer dollars.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 11-6 that the law Ohio passed, which bars state funding from healthcare providers that offer abortions, “does not violate the Constitution because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions.”

Conservatives in several states have tried to roll back public funding from Planned Parenthood for years, but the organization argued that because it allegedly provides generic health services—like for screenings breast cancer, treatments for sexually transmitted diseases and support for non-abortive pregnancies—it is eligible for state funding.

Ohio’s Republican lawmakers continued to fight Planned Parenthood, arguing the state shouldn’t use “abortion providers as the face of state healthcare programs.”

Six judges dissented from the majority opinion, and in her dissent, Judge Helen White argued that defunding Planned Parenthood “would result in an undue burden on a woman’s right to obtain non-therapeutic abortions if imposed directly.”

Planned Parenthood argued that the funding ban will result in the loss of vital programs for women’s health.

“This is a devastating blow for people across Ohio. This law is an attack on health care access for the most at-risk communities in our state, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community,” said Iris E. Harvey, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio.

“We will continue to fight to ensure that the 80,000 Ohioans who rely on us for health care every year can continue to get birth control, cancer screenings, and other essential health care at Planned Parenthood health centers,” Harvey said.

However, the court ruled that the law does not violate women’s rights because Planned Parenthood affiliates do not have a constitutional right be funded by the government, even if they can’t be prevented from offering abortions.

“Private organizations do not have a constitutional right to obtain governmental funding to support their activities,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the majority. “The State also may choose not to subsidize constitutionally protected activities. Just as it has no obligation to provide a platform for an individual’s free speech … it has no obligation to pay for a woman’s abortion.”