State Reps. Nancy Garland, Chair of the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus, and Nickie J. Antonio in coordination with NARAL and Planned Parenthood, held a news conference to fight the renewed efforts by Republicans and Gov. Kasich to strip funding from Planned Parenthood. Chants of “Hear us now” broke out in the halls outside of committee where the bill was being heard and during the press conference.
House Bill 298, which is scheduled to be voted out of the Health and Aging Committee today, creates a tiered system for funding family planning health centers. Planned Parenthood will fall in the final tier, only to receive support if there are funds in the budget after all other centers receive funding. This plan essentially defunds Planned Parenthood, and with it, will eliminate access to healthcare for thousands of women who rely on Planned Parenthood’s services.
“Extreme politicians across the nation lost on election night because of their anti-women and anti-family agenda,” said Rep. Antonio. “Women across Ohio and the nation stood up and made their voices heard in this election telling extreme politicians to keep government out of their personal health choices and start focusing on jobs, education and equal pay; Ohio legislators should listen and trust women.”
This extreme agenda hurts women and families, by seeking to limit a woman’s family planning options and preventative care. The constant attacks on women and failure to act on protective and preventative policies is bad for economic development and bad for women. For every dollar invested to help women avoid unintended pregnancies, $4.12 is saved in Medicaid expenditures.
“Simply put, this is about preventive care. Women who have access to preventive care are able to lead healthier lives, to enable them to work and to care for their families which benefits society. Let’s get back to work on legislation that will help women, not hurt women,” Rep. Garland added.
This bill, if passed, could place a larger burden on local county health departments who often rely on Planned Parenthood to provide services to women in their communities. Many county health centers refer patients to Planned Parenthood for affordable preventive care. HB 298, would take away affordable quality health care from women.