Federal Court Strikes a Blow to Planned Parenthood in Ohio

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The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Ohio can defund Planned Parenthood because the organization provides abortions, according to Politico. The ruling overturned a previous decision that had said the state needed to continue providing $1.5 million to clinics.


An incredible four out of the eleven 6th Circuit judges who ruled in the majority on the case were appointed by President Trump, demonstrating the impact he’s already had on the judiciary, where appointments are generally for life. Even the attorney who originally was arguing the case on behalf of cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, Eric Murphy, has since been made a judge by Trump.

The decision stated that the Ohio law withholding funds from clinics that provide what they called “non-therapeutic abortions,” and those that advocate for reproductive rights, “does not violate the Constitution because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions.”

It’s worth noting that none of the public funding for Planned Parenthood in Ohio was used to provide abortions.

From Politico:

For several years, Planned Parenthood clinics received public funding to participate in Ohio initiatives targeting sexually transmitted diseases, breast cancer and cervical cancer, teen pregnancy, infant mortality and sexual violence. None of that money was used to fund the organization’s abortion providers — who operate at three out of more than two-dozen clinics in the state. Still, because the state’s Republican leaders were opposed to “using abortion providers as the face of state healthcare programs,” former Gov. John Kasich signed the funding ban in 2016.


Judge Helene White and five others on the bench dissented, writing that the law “would result in an undue burden on a woman’s right to obtain non-therapeutic abortions if imposed directly.”


According to Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen, the ruling will “roll back the gains to public health—harming women’s health, children’s health and the health of families across Ohio.”

Trump has already radically changed the way that abortion providers receive funds, barring them from receiving Title X funding, in effect cutting millions of dollars from Planned Parenthood. Just last month, another new rule by Health and Human Services requires abortion providers to keep a “clear physical and financial separation” between the parts of their organization that are government funded, and those that provide abortions.