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Federal Judge Blocks Ohio Law Defunding Planned Parenthood

photo of Defund Planned Parenthood bus

A federal judge has ruled Ohio cannot enforce its new law that defunds Planned Parenthood. 

Federal judge Michael Barrett has banned the new mostly Republican-backed law. It sought to take away more than one million dollars in federal funding for things like HIV tests, cancer screenings and other prevention services from Planned Parenthood. The law had been put on hold last May. Katie Franklin with Ohio Right to Life, which supported the new law, is not happy about the decision.

“Yet again, we are looking at an activist judge who is fabricating rights out of thin air for the benefit of the abortion industry.”

Franklin says the new law should be enforced because it represents the will of taxpayers.

“Well Judge Barrett’s decision is a clear violation of state rights and the conscious right of taxpayers. Planned Parenthood has no right to the hard earned dollars of taxpayers. Millions of them have an objection to Planned Parenthood’s pro-abortion business model.”

But Iris Harvey, the President of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, is applauding the ruling.

“We’re overjoyed, obviously. It validates our stand that the legislation was unconstitutional.”

The state is likely to appeal the decision. But Harvey says she isn’t focused on that.

“We’ll take one step at a time. I think right now it is business as usual. We will continue to provide great health care to the people of Ohio who come to Planned Parenthood everyday and need the services. That will be uninterrupted and that’s the most important thing at this time.”

Ohio is one of ten states where laws to take money away from Planned Parenthood have been overturned in court.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.