Many Ohio counties don't have safety-net family planning services. A post-Roe fix won't be easy
The same day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a federal judge lifted the injunction against an Ohio law that would ban all abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detected, on average six weeks after conception.
Some supporters of Friday's Supreme Court ruling, including Gov. Mike DeWine, say they want to expand public health services for low-income 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.
But former state Medicaid director John Corlett, now with the research group the Center for Community Solutions, said a lot of Ohioans live 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," he said. "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.
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