The Republicans in the state of Ohio have followed through on their threats to pursue an anti-woman, anti-health care agenda during their lame duck session. First up? Pushing through the unpopular plan to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
And if it it happens to affect other family planning clinics as well? Well, so be it.
Other stand-alone family planning groups also would lose funding, testified Mary Wynne-Peaspanen, executive director of Family Planning Advocates of Northeast Ohio. Her Painesville-based organization stands to lose $90,000, and there isn’t anyone to pick up the slack in her immediate area, she said.
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Dr. Kimberly Shepherd, an obstetrician/gynecologist, testified that Planned Parenthood was being targeted for “ideological reasons” and that the bill would make it more difficult for women to find doctors they are comfortable with. “Planned Parenthood is a known entity for so many women,” she said. “I don’t think women will have the same level of access because I don’t think they will go.”
The committee hearing was filled to overflowing with supporters of Planned Parenthood, but despite the public outcry the committee passed the bill to de-fund 11 to 9. It will now move to the full House for a vote. A similar bill died in the legislature earlier in the spring.