Ohio could become the next state to defund Planned Parenthood.
The Ohio Senate approved legislation on Wednesday that would prevent state and certain federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood.
The legislation was approved in a 23-10 vote and was sent to the Republican-led state House for consideration.
In a statement, Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina, said that “these public funds will now provide additional vital health services to women and children in Ohio.”
“I am proud that the Senate passed this legislation today to ensure our taxpayer dollars are spent on their well-being and not misused in the illegal manner demonstrated by Planned Parenthood officials in those disturbing videos,” Faber said.
Ohio is the latest state to consider defunding Planned Parenthood following the release of undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress depicting senior executives at the organization discussing the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.
Profiting from the sale of human body parts is a felony in the United States. Spokespersons for Planned Parenthood have dismissed the videos as “heavily edited” and have denied participation in illegal transactions. The organization recently announced that it will no longer accept “reimbursement” for donations of babies’ body parts to researchers.
Katie Franklin, the director of communications for Ohio Right to Life, told The Daily Signal she is optimistic that the bill will be approved by the House and signed into law by Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio.
“For years, Ohio Right to Life has been working to defund Planned Parenthood. When we introduced our 2015-2016 legislative agenda in February, this bill was a top priority for us,” Franklin said. “The summer’s gruesome video scandal breathed new life into this effort, motivating Ohio’s pro-life elected officials to pursue defunding with urgency, prudence and compassion. Ohio Right to Life thanks Senate President Keith Faber for swiftly ushering this legislation through the Ohio Senate.”
Stephanie Kight, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, said in a statement, “This revolting attempt on the part of the Ohio General Assembly to pass laws that blatantly harm women, men and their families, especially those in underserved areas, is unforgivable.”
“We are profoundly disappointed in the Ohio Senate today, particularly Sen. President Faber, not only for passing such an irresponsible and wrong-headed bill, but for robbing the people and their colleagues of the opportunity to hear testimony that is essential to the democratic process,” Kight said.
Casey Mattox, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, who testified before the Ohio Senate’s Government Oversight and Reform Committee on the legislation, said in a statement that “states aren’t required to commit any resources to facilitating abortion.”
“As the U.S. Supreme Court has said, state governments have a real interest in preserving and promoting the health and safety of babies before they are born,” Mattox said. “States have authority to enact laws and policies that encourage childbirth over abortion, including withholding taxpayer subsidies.”