This flag flew above the State Capital building in 1983.  Photo credit:  Daniel R. Blume on Flickr

Ohio democrats in an uproar over Planned Parenthood

This flag flew above the State Capital building in 1983. Photo credit: Daniel R. Blume on Flickr

Democrats are busy declaring that the “war on women” is alive and well in Ohio. The state’s legislature is considering a bill that would drastically cut funding to Planned Parenthood, although not eliminate it altogether. Basically, the bill would restructure the way that health or family planning centers get federal dollars. According to Aaron Marshall at Cleveland.com, the proposed legislation “reprioritizes federal funding for family planning dollars.”

Nina Turner, a Democrat senator from Cleveland, has resorted to colorful claims in her opposition to the reprioritization:

“Planned Parenthood is necessary for poor, urban and rural areas,” said Turner, referring to the 32 centers run by the organization across the state. “So basically this is saying to hell with poor, black, Latino, urban and rural women.”

In reality, the legislation would not cause Ohio to forget about or ignore needy women. Republican Representative Cliff Rosenberger explains that “the aim is to funnel dollars to ‘local family planning groups that have local knowledge and local access’ that can bring ‘scarce resources to families that really need it.’” In short, not everyone believes that Planned Parenthood is the only answer women have.

Representative Rosenberger provides more information:

It’s not just Planned Parenthood out there offering these services.  Planned Parenthood makes up 32 out of at least 230 or more organizations. Everybody’s in the same mix. They’re all in this hierarchy system, yet they’re not coming forward and raising Cain about this.

I think this is a fair and balanced approach at a time when the dollar continues to be squeezed in government spending, and we want to make sure that we’re providing the best resources to women and family planning out there.

How exactly would the reprioritization work? Aaron Marshall has the answer:

[L]ocal health departments would get the top funding priority, followed by nonpublic federally qualified community health centers. Next to receive funding would be nonpublic groups providing comprehensive primary and preventive care along with family planning services and lastly, nonpublic groups providing stand-alone family planning services such as Planned Parenthood and Wynne-Peaspanen’s agency.

It appears that the only real complaint Democrats can raise is that Planned Parenthood may get booted to the bottom of the list, though PP won’t sit there alone. Comments like those made by Nina Turner, claiming that Planned Parenthood is essential to women, are patently false. Local health departments provide cancer screenings, physical exams, and needed health care to low-income women and their families. Planned Parenthood is needed exactly nowhere in the equation.

According to the Toledo Blade, “32 Planned Parenthood clinics statewide received a total of $1.7 million” in 2011. No one can be sure how much of the funding would be cut under the proposed legislation, but all parties seem to agree that it would be significant.

A Democrat representative from Toledo, Teresa Fedor, is up in arms about the bill, stating, “These extreme attacks on women are not going to be tolerated in this state.  We’re standing with our sisters to say that government has no business in reproductive health in Ohio.” Unfortunately, Representative Fedor seems to forget that the state does indeed have a say in what happens to federal family planning dollars. If the state of Ohio believes that local health departments can better serve the citizens than Planned Parenthood can, the legislature has every right to send the funds in that direction. The cry of “government intrusion” is more than a little disingenuous, since these funds have always been dedicated to reproductive health and distributed at the state’s discretion. Representative Fedor was plenty happy when that same government was directing the funds to Planned Parenthood. It’s now, when the funds may be reprioritized and given to another more effective organization, that she raises an outcry against the government.

Mike Gonidakis, executive director of Ohio Right to Life, summarizes the Democrats’ outcry perfectly:

This is just a way for Planned Parenthood to keep a piece of their pie.  They are acting like they are the only entity that provides health care for low income women and that’s simply not true.

  • Guest

    Local health departments provide cancer screenings, physical exams, and
    needed health care to low-income women and their families. Planned
    Parenthood is needed exactly nowhere in the equation.

    Maybe you should share your infinite knowledge of Ohio’s health care options with someone in the Ohio Department of Health?  They are laboring under the belief that Planned Parenthood is needed in the equation: a number of local health departments refer to PP for family planning: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/~/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/cfhs/family%20planning%20-%20title%20x/cliniclocations.ashx

    It’s now, when the funds may be reprioritized and given to another more
    effective organization, that she raises an outcry against the
    government.

    And what is that “more effective organization?  Ohio’s Title X funding is already distributed through a competitive bidding process: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/~/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/cfhs/family%20planning%20%20-%20title%20v/fpbiddersslides2011.ashx  Other organizations are either not applying for it at all, or not effectively making the case that they would be better at providing family planning.  I’m assuming that your knowledge of health care efficiency is just as extensive as your knowledge of Ohio’s local health departments, so maybe you should work with one of those other “more effective” organizations on how to present their case when they bid.  And you should probably have them call one of the state representatives pushing for defunding Planned Parenthood, since the legislature has not yet heard from anyone who says that they could do the job better, or even that they want to try to.

    Ohio Right to Life’s example of an organization that should get the Title X funding, by the way, is one that provides no contraception at all.

    • Kristiburtonbrown

      Of course, Planned Parenthood is listed/referred to under the current system.  No surprises there.  That’s why Ohio’s trying to reprioritize…PP doesn’t deserve top line status.  I find it interesting that the link you give is a guide to apply in Ohio’s bidding process.  That helps us understand the facts how?  Your claim that other organizations aren’t applying or aren’t effective rings kinds of hollow.  The current system gives PP too much preference…that is the problem.  Most people would far rather their tax dollars go to a county or public health operation than PP.

      • Guest

        That helps us understand the facts how? 

        Well, I don’t think that anything can help you understand the facts, because you don’t appear to like facts.  You like convictions, and I’m sure you sincerely believe with all your little heart that your convictions are facts, but they aren’t.  In answer to your question, however: the data on Ohio’s bidding process are facts, facts about how Ohio distributes federal money earmarked for family planning.  If you want to be taken seriously when you argue about effective distribution of money, then you need to understand the facts about how money is distributed. 

        The current system gives PP too much preference…that is the problem.
         Most people would far rather their tax dollars go to a county or public
        health operation than PP.

        Here’s another fact: the preferences of your imaginary people are not evidence of a program’s effectiveness.  And the facts that matter most: the organizations that you think would be more effective have not said that they think they would be more effective at managing Title X money.  When Texas suddenly started diverting family planning money to FQHCs in 2006, some of them actually returned funding because they couldn’t use it for its intended purpose.  That is a desirable outcome only for people who want to decrease contraceptive use entirely.

        • Kristiburtonbrown

          This data that you cite only informs people about how to apply for the bidding process.  It gives no information as to who actually applies, who is awarded money, and why they are awarded those funds.  If you’re going to contend against my claims on the basis that you have facts and I don’t maybe you should give some sources, that actually relate to your claims…not just ones that look like they do.  

          My people are not imaginary, for your information.  Several polls, including the one cited here (http://www.lifenews.com/2011/04/13/poll-54-percent-oppose-giving-planned-parenthood-tax-money/) demonstrate that the majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood.  Maybe it’s you who has the imagination…

          • Guest

            This data that you cite only informs people about how to apply for the bidding process.  It gives no information as to…why they are awarded those funds.

            You’re joking, right?  The explanation of the bidding process tells, among other things, what goals a successful grant application is supposed to meet.  That is the why.  As to who gets the funding: that was in the first link in my post, which showed where Title X clinics were.  Those are the clinics that got funding.

            as to who actually applies, who is awarded money,

            You’re correct, the links I posted did not give that information.  You could have found it easily enough yourself with a little effort: links are below.  I’m sure that you’re very busy and you’ll probably say that you don’t have time to do any research, but you know–if you can’t be bothered to learn any facts about an issue, you really shouldn’t be lecturing others about it.  Or, at very least, you should be honest and disclose to your readers that you’re just making things up.

            Grant applicants and awardees: (you’ll have to do the reading for yourself)

            http://www.odh.ohio.gov/~/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/about/grants%202009/familyplanning.ashx
            http://www.odh.ohio.gov/~/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/about/grants%202011/familyplanning.ashx
            http://www.odh.ohio.gov/~/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/about/grants%202012/reproductivehealthandwellness.ashx

              Several polls, including the one cited here (http://www.lifenews.com/2011/0… demonstrate that the majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood.

            The poll you linked made a point of saying that people were not asked if they want their tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood.

          • Kristiburtonbrown

            I think you must be joking about that poll.  It obviously polled people on whether or not they wanted their tax dollars to go to family planning facilities/groups who also provide abortion.  That’s Planned Parenthood.  Even 26% of pro-choicers in that poll didn’t want their dollars going there.  And the article talks plenty about Planned Parenthood.  But I think our debate is pointless.  You clearly think I know nothing, and I think you are both missing the point and providing material/information that really doesn’t matter.  Of course PP gets more grants currently, no one argues that.  Of course they qualify under the current system.  The point is that the system may, and should, change.  They do not deserve to get our tax dollars when they are such a controversial group that takes the lives of the innocent.

          • Guest

            You clearly think I know nothing, and I think you are both missing the
            point and providing material/information that really doesn’t matter. 

            I’m not in a position to say that you know nothing, but yes, if you don’t think that data matters, then the discussion is pointless.  I’d forgotten that pro-life information about Planned Parenthood funding is, as John Kyl’s office acknowledged, not intended to be a factual statement.

  • MJScanlonOH

    Typical caterwauling by an organization feeding at the public trough! Planned Barrenhood, yes, you have a right to exist. YOU DO NOT have a right to use my tax dollars to murder the innocent ones who have NO VOICE! Look at your founder, Margaret Sanger, a known racist, eugenicist and all around evil woman.  Why is it that more black and hispanic babies are killed than white ones?

    The truth is that PP is an evil organization that promotes death.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-M-Williams/1021964754 Michelle M. Williams

       Because more black women experience unintended pregnancy. And the Hyde Amendment protects your precious tax dollars.