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Ohio Lawmakers Plan to Strip Funding for Planned Parenthood

Democrats in the Ohio legislature are angry about a proposal that’s been slipped into a budget adjustment bill. The proposal would strip away money from Planned Parenthoods throughout Ohio.

Democratic State Senator Nina Turner is fired up over the proposed plan to take away money from Planned Parenthood.

"We are not children.  Women do not need a permission slip from government to decide what is in the best interest of their bodies," says Turner.

Ohio State University student Laura Smales agrees.  She says she needs Planned Parenthood’s services.

"I go to Planned Parenthood for my annual exams.  It’s really my only health care provider that I see throughout the year, especially being a students away from home.  I don’t have a family care doctor," says Smales.

Democratic State Representative Nickie Antonio says her own 26-year-old daughter, who lacks health care coverage, also relies on Planned Parenthood’s services.

"She goes to Planned Parenthood.  It’s one of the only places where she can make an appointment, walk in the door and they can give her preventative health care," says Antonio.

And Democratic State Representative Kathleen Clyde says she’s relied on the organization too.

"I was a user of Planned Parenthood’s services around the time I was in college and it wasn’t so long ago that I don’t remember how important it was to me," says Clyde.

Planned Parenthood estimates one in five American women use the group’s services sometime in their lifetimes.  That’s why Democrat Nina Turner says it’s important to fight Republicans in the Ohio House and Senate to keep funding for the health screenings and preventative care the organization provides. 

"They’ve got this illusion about abortion that is the rhetoric of the ridiculous.  The truth of the matter is Planned Parenthood is necessary for poor, rural and urban women in the state of Ohio but I guess the Republican Party is saying the Hell with poor, black, latino and white women in this state because they don’t matter.  Never let the truth get in the way of a good story," says Turner.

But Mike Gonadakis with Ohio Right to Life says the truth is Planned Parenthood doesn’t serve most of Ohio’s poor women.

"We have over 290 facilities in the state of Ohio - approximately 160 community health centers and approximately 130 local departments of health and that’s where these funds should be going.  And they should not be going to the nation’s largest abortion provider," says Gonadakis.

Gonadakis says these are comprehensive care centers that provide many services, including pre natal care and mammograms - something he says Planned Parenthood doesn’t provide. 

"So I’m not sure what they are providing other than abortions and sexual health types of services such as condoms and the pills," says Gonadakis.

Gonadakis denies the move to strip funding from Planned Parenthood is politically motivated.

"We try to leave the politics out of it.  Our goal is to help women who find themselves with unintended pregnancies, help disadvantaged and poor women.  The tired talking points of the abortion industry is solely focused on keeping the money they receive on an annual basis.  Up to 363 million dollars a year go to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.  State by state, they are turning off that spigot," says Gonadakis.

Indeed, several states have passed similar legislation to keep Planned Parenthood from getting tax dollars. But there are questions about the legality of doing that.  A lawsuit has been filed against the state of Indiana over its law taking away money from Planned Parenthood.  For it’s part, the organization’s spokesman says there is no taxpayer money going to fund abortions.  And the group says 97 percent of its services have nothing to do with abortion.