Federal appeals court: Ohio effort to defund Planned Parenthood unconstitutional

A panel of three federal appeals court judges ruled Wednesday that Ohio lawmakers passed an unconstitutional law that sought to defund Planned Parenthood and keep the organization from receiving public money to pay for non-abortion-related health care programs for the poor.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the second court to strike down that the state’s 2016 law forbidding Ohio from contracting for health services with any entity that performs or promotes non-therapeutic abortions. Cincinnati federal Judge Michael Barrett blocked the law from being implemented in May 2016 and declared it unconstitutional later that year.

The panel included two judges appointed by Republican presidents and one Democratic appointee.

Judge Helene White, appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote that the law “violates Plaintiffs’ due process rights by imposing unconstitutional conditions.” While Ohio can bar use of public money for non-therapeutic abortions, it cannot bar a company from obtaining contracts based on their views on or activities surrounding abortion, she wrote.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio Region, which do not use public money for abortion services, sued a few months after Gov. John Kasich signed the law to cut off more than $1 million in public money from the organization.

The programs for which the nonprofits won contracts help provide health services for the poor at little to no cost to patients. The services include testing for HIV/AIDS and other STDs, Pap smears and other cancer screenings, infant mortality prevention programs and sexual health education programs.

Click here to read more of this story.

About Marion Online News

Marion Online is owned and operated by the (somewhat) fine people at Neighborhood Image, a local website design and hosting company. We know, a locally owned media company, it's crazy. To send us information, click on Contact Us in the menu.