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Archive for May 13th, 2016

Planned Parenthood Seeks to Block ORC 3701.034

Planned Parenthood LogoPlanned Parenthood of Greater Ohio (PPGO) and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region (PPSOR) recently filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Western Division, seeking injunctive relief “restraining the enforcement, operation, and execution of Section 3701.034 of the Ohio Revised Code….”  ORC 3701.034 was codified by House Bill 294, which was to become effective May 23, 2016.  Among other measures, the statute requires the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) “to ensure that state funds and certain federal funds are not used either to perform or promote nontherapeutic abortions, or to contract or affiliate with any entity that performs or promotes nontherapeutic abortions.”  PPGO and PPSOR complain the statute violates the U.S. Constitution First Amendment, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment‘s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.  ODH interprets the statute as eliminating all state funding of PPGO and PPSOR, because those entities provide abortion services and advocate for safe legal abortions.  PPGO and PPSOR attest their abortion services are federally funded and their advocacy is free speech.  PPGO and PPSOR also attest the funding cut will deprive Ohioans, particularly low-income individuals, of vital community health services, such as pap smears, HIV/AIDS tests, sexually transmitted disease treatment, infant mortality prevention programs, and sexual health education programs.