COLUMBUS, OH — Gov. John Kasich has signed legislation to strip government money from Planned Parenthood in Ohio.
The move from the Republican presidential candidate was expected, but he made it official Sunday. It comes a day after Kasich’s weak performance in South Carolina’s GOP presidential primary and a day before he heads to Virginia to campaign.
The bill targets roughly $1.3 million in funding that Planned Parenthood receives through Ohio’s health department. The money, which is mostly federal, supports initiatives for HIV testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and prevention of violence against women. The legislation prohibits such funds from going to entities that perform or promote abortions.
While the measure does not specifically name Planned Parenthood, that’s who backers say would be most affected.
Amelia Hayes, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, says the legislation will harm the lives of women, men and families across the state.
Hayes says the loss of funding cuts an agency program aimed at reducing infant mortality at a time Ohio struggles with higher-than-average infant death rates.
President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards says the action will leave thousands of women without testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases and will hurt anti-domestic violence programs.
Ohio Democratic Party chairman David Pepper said Kasich has aligned himself with Tea Party conservatives over the wishes of most state residents.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox shared the following statement in support of Kasich:
“Not one more penny should go to Planned Parenthood, a scandal-plagued abortion business that does not provide comprehensive health care services for women. Ohio’s new law terminates funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses, freeing up money for more widely available and more comprehensive low-cost healthcare options for women and families in the state. Taxpayer dollars should not go to organizations with a long track record of abusive and potentially fraudulent billing practices, that have been caught in authenticated undercover videos negotiating prices for baby body parts, and that have repeatedly failed to report the sexual abuse of girls. Ohio is right to end its relationship with organizations undeserving of taxpayer money and unworthy of the taxpayers’ trust.”