In a move being called an "attack for ideological reasons", a vote split down party lines yesterday approved legislation that will strip Planned Parenthood of about 2 million dollars annually. The bill (HB 298) now heads to the House floor.
HB 298 passed despite the House being packed with doctors, patients and advocates voicing opposition to the bill. The common theme being that Planned Parenthood serves the poor and marginalized. Taking away services only hurts the already vulnerable populations in our state. Some testified that defunding Planned Parenthood could mean that poor women will not seek needed medical care elsewhere which will cause more health problems and unintended pregnancies and that those things cost the state more in the end.
After hearing all of the testimony in opposition to the bill, not one Republican changed their vote. "The losers in this are the women who need to access basic, fundamental health care," said Rep. Nickie Antonio, a Lakewood Democrat.
As reported in the Plain Dealer: "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."
This has me worried for the future of Planned Parenthood in Ohio. More importantly, I am worried for the women that will be turned away for medical care because of it. It is so obviously a political move and smacks of the privileged taking from those who cannot defend themselves; the poor. It's punitive. I am angry that the reasons for this kind of legislation are so blatantly religious ones. When we blend church and state all that is left is oppression - just ask the women living under the Taliban. Planned Parenthood is not an evil abortion factory. It is a medical facility that cares for women's health and saves women's lives.
What are your thoughts on HB 298? What are your thoughts on Planned Parenthood?