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Ohio judge blocks state law defunding Planned Parenthood

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Earlier this year, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law legislation that stripped Planned Parenthood of the $1.3 million in state funding that they had previously enjoyed. The money would instead be given to federally qualified health centers, health departments, and health providers who do not perform abortions. Friday, an Ohio judge blocked that law, saying that it would cause Planned Parenthood “irreparable injury”.

U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett granted Planned Parenthood a permanent injunction, preventing state officials from enforcing the law.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region had sued the state to get the law overturned. Judge Barrett said that stripping Planned Parenthood of funding would prevent them from providing free services, as well as block their access to juvenile justice and foster care systems, to teach them about “healthy relationships”. Attorneys for the state pointed out that no organization has a right to state funding. “Planned Parenthood supplies no basis for disturbing Ohio’s legislative judgments about how to spend its public money,” they wrote. But Barrett said that the law needed to be blocked because Planned Parenthood would “suffer a continuing irreparable injury for which there is no adequate remedy at law.” Planned Parenthood unsurprisingly celebrated the ruling as a win.

However, Barrett seems to have forgotten that it’s not Planned Parenthood that he serves, but the law. It is not his job to ensure the welfare of Planned Parenthood. He is not there to make sure that Planned Parenthood makes lots of money. And as the state attorneys pointed out, Ohio is not required to fund Planned Parenthood, or any other entity.

And while Planned Parenthood calls this a victory for women’s health, the reality is that women and teenagers don’t need Planned Parenthood, in Ohio or anywhere else. The funding would have been given to federally qualified health centers and health clinics, which vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood in Ohio.

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Additionally, while Planned Parenthood and their allies like to pretend that American women are reliant upon the abortion chain for health care, the reality is that Planned Parenthood only serves a small percentage of women. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, there are 61 million reproductive-age women in the United States; according to their 2013-2014 annual report, Planned Parenthood did a minute 487,029 breast exams (no, not mammograms) and 378,692 pap tests. The breast exams account for 0.08% of women. Over the course of three years, 1,457,035 pap tests were performed. At absolute most, that means that Planned Parenthood served 2.4% of reproductive-age women.

Meanwhile, across the country as well as in Ohio, Planned Parenthood is outnumbered by comprehensive health clinics. Many of these health clinics, like Federally Qualified Health Centers, provide services regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Millions of women are served by these clinics, as opposed to Planned Parenthood, which mainly provides abortions and very little actual health care. And what’s more, Americans support shifting taxpayer dollars away from Planned Parenthood and redirecting them towards comprehensive health clinics.

But perhaps most disturbing about Barrett’s decision is that he feels teenagers need to be able to go to Planned Parenthood to learn about “healthy relationships.” If that’s what he is looking for, then Planned Parenthood is the last place teenagers should go, as Live Action’s SexEd investigation uncovered:

In Planned Parenthood facilities across the country, teenagers were given harmful and dangerous advice. They were told to experiment with BDSM, and were encouraged by Planned Parenthood to visit websites that promote things like playing with feces, drinking urine, and bestiality. Staffers encouraged underage girls to break the law by going into sex shops, where they could find things like whips, ties, and costumes. Most shockingly, they promoted abusive behavior, encouraging girls to experiment with axphyxiation, anal sex, being tied up and gagged. They also told them that sex play that leaves them with welts, burns, and bruises is normal and not abusive.

Is this what Barrett would define as “healthy relationships”?

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The reality is, Americans don’t want to fund Planned Parenthood. And there is no reason whatsoever that any state legislature should be forced to fund Planned Parenthood, and they’re especially not required to give the abortion giant taxpayer dollars in order to keep them successful. That’s not the job of the state, and it’s ludicrous that Barrett would use that as justification for his ruling.

The reality is, Americans don’t want to fund Planned Parenthood. And there is no reason whatsoever that any state legislature should be forced to fund Planned Parenthood, and they’re especially not required to give the abortion giant taxpayer dollars in order to keep them successful. That’s not the job of the state, and it’s ludicrous that Barrett would use that as justification for his ruling.

Attorneys for the state of Ohio have already said that they plan to appeal the ruling.

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