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Many counties don't have family planning services for low-income Ohioans

Dan Konik

Abortions are effectively banned in Ohio, because a law outlawing abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect not long after the US Supreme Court’s abortion ruling Friday. Some supporters of the ruling, including Gov. Mike DeWine, say they want to expand healthcare services to women and children. But that could be difficult.

The current state budget expanded Medicaid for new mothers from 60 days to one year, but there are no other plans to further expand the low-income health insurance program. Medicaid.

But former state Medicaid director John Corlett, now with the research group the Center for Community Solutions, said a lot of Ohioans are in health care deserts when it comes to access to contraceptive options.

“The majority of Ohio counties have limited access to safety net family planning services. In fact, 34 counties have no access to safety net family planning services," Corlett said.

Corlett said there are a variety of locations that could host those services: "They could be in public health facilities. They could be in a federally qualified health center. They could be in a family planning agency. They could be in a Planned Parenthood office. They could be in any number of those places."

And in most counties, Corlett said, "there isn't enough access to those services. They don't have enough, they're not large enough, they don't have enough staff, they don't have enough funding."

Corlett also notes two-thirds of women on Medicaid in Ohio are of childbearing age. Ohio doesn't have work requirements for people on Medicaid, though the state did ask for federal permission to put some in place.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.