As an Ohio Right to Life advocate was testifying in the ongoing Finance Committee hearings on the Mid-Biennial Budget Review (HB 497), which now includes a provision to defund Planned Parenthood, State Representative Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) was taken aback by the inappropriate comments made about young women.
During her testimony before the committee, the Ohio Right to Life advocate stated, “We know why Planned Parenthood clinics are in places like Kent.” The statement was made as if there is something wrong with locating a Planned Parenthood clinic near a college campus, where thousands of young women would be in proximity to the clinic’s important, life-saving services. That sentiment was expressed further during questions and answers.
“These insinuating comments are completely out of line and disrespectful to young women around this state,” said Rep. Clyde. “Many college students are away from home, do not have a primary care physician on campus, and are not insured or are out of their network while away at school. They often do not have the financial means to go elsewhere for these very basic and private healthcare needs such as annual pap smears.”
The Planned Parenthood clinic in Kent does not perform abortions. However, like all Planned Parenthood clinics, they provide basic preventative health services for thousands of women and men. If Ohio follows through with this attempt to defund stand-alone family planning clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, we risk losing millions in federal funding putting women’s health at great risk. Recently, Texas lost all federal family planning funding, which totaled $39 million last year, for blocking Planned Parenthood from receiving any state or federal funding. Federal law already prohibits funding for abortion services.
During Rep. Clyde’s questions, Committee Chairman Ron Amstuz abruptly cut off all questioning, calling this an “emotional” issue for some members of the committee and ended the hearing.
“This war on women is offensive and degrading. This is not simply a women’s issue or an issue about a women’s choice, this is a family issue,” said Rep. Clyde. “Many mothers depend on services such as cancer screenings that Planned Parenthood provides. If we take these critical services away, we put these families at risk of losing a mother, a daughter, grandmother or aunt. That is simply unacceptable.”