Gov. John Kasich signed legislation Sunday to strip government money from PlannedParenthood in Ohio, a day after the Republican presidential contender’s weak performance in his party’s South Carolina primary.
The expected action came despite calls for a veto by some legislative Democrats and several newspaper editorials.
The governor did not sign the bill in public. His office made the announcement in a statement.
The legislation targets the roughly $1.3 million in funding that Planned Parenthood receives through Ohio’s health department. The money, which is mostly federal, supports HIV testing, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and prevention of violence against women.
The legislation prohibits such funds from going to entities that perform or promote abortions, their affiliates and those that contract with an entity that performs abortions.
The bill doesn’t name Planned Parenthood, but backers of the legislation have acknowledged the organization will be the most affected. They want the money to go to health centers and other providers that do not perform abortions.
Opponents say the measure puts politics ahead of people’s health care.
State and federal laws already prohibit taxpayer funds from being used to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
A Planned Parenthood leader in Ohio has emphasized the organization’s doors would remain open, but its community health programs would be cut. The group says programs targeted in the bill helped Planned Parenthood in the last year to provide more than 47,000 STD tests and 3,600 HIV tests to Ohioans, serve nearly 2,800 new or expectant mothers, and inform young people and women about healthy relationships.
Kasich’s actions betray thousands of Ohioans who rely on the agency’s work, said Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Amelia Hayes.No, Kasich is beyond shame. No wonder he is on the current GOP wet dream of a ticket with Rubio.
“Gov. Kasich should be ashamed for claiming he is invested in the fight against infant mortality while simultaneously defunding one of the best programs in the state for young mothers and their children,” she said.