Judge rules state can block abortion provider from receiving taxpayer funding
(Columbus)—In a stunning move, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups reversed an earlier decision by upholding Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s executive order blocking $275,000 from Planned Parenthood’s affiliate in that state. This decision by the federal courts signals time for action in Ohio to address a number of concerns over the Ohio affiliate’s practices.
It has been over 4 months since a coalition of over 100 Ohio-based pro-life and pro-family organizations and churches, Ohioans for Defunding Abortion, asked Governor John Kasich to remove taxpayer funding from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. To date, there has been no public response from Governor Kasich’s administration toward this goal. Coalition leaders are calling on Governor Kasich to issue executive orders blocking taxpayer funding from abortion providers, both federal and state funds, including Medicaid reimbursements.
“We are dismayed about the lack of decisive action on the part of the Governor” stated Linda Theis, President of Ohio ProLife Action, Inc.. “While other states have moved to terminate contracts with abortion providers who are engaging in illegal activity, John Kasich has done nothing to address this glaring problem in Ohio.”
An investigation of Planned Parenthood’s Ohio affiliates by the charitable law section of the Ohio Attorney General’s office found evidence that at least three of their facilities were engaging in disposal of the remains of unborn human beings in a manner that violates Ohio regulations.
“The ruling by Judge Waddoups pointed out that a state has the right to terminate a contract when a party associates with entities allegedly engaged in illegal conduct” commented Molly Smith, President of Cleveland Right to Life. “Why has Governor Kasich not ended all funding to abortion providers in the State of Ohio? Funding was only partially redirected in recent legislation, leaving behind revenue streams that continue to fund the killing of innocent children in the womb.”
The federal ruling also noted that no federal or state funds may be used to perform abortions. Given this, Judge Walloups concluded in his opinion that termination of contracts between the state and the abortion provider does not violate the provider’s right to advocate for or perform abortions.
“It is encouraging that the federal court recognized that Planned Parenthood cannot have it both ways” noted Paula Westwood, executive director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, “wanting no restrictions on the killing of unborn babies for profit, and no restriction on their grabbing of taxpayer dollars to underwrite their primary activity of killing unborn babies for profit.”
“Coalition leadership is calling for an extended grassroots campaign to contact Governor Kasich to request executive action to shut off the flow of taxpayer dollars to abortion providers in Ohio” said Barry Sheets, spokesperson for the coalition. “Ohio voters are looking to Governor Kasich to lead on this issue.”