The Republican controlled Ohio Senate and House recently passed a bill on Wednesday, Feb. 10 to strip funding to Planned Parenthood and similar facilities. The bill now goes to Governor John Kasich and awaits his approval. Kasich is fresh off a successful outing in New Hampshire, where, according to CBS News, his more moderate stances appealed to the Independent New Hampshire voters and earned him a second place finish.
The bill cleared the Ohio House shortly after the New Hampshire Primary. CBS News reports that the bill comes at an opportune time for Kasich: had it come earlier, it could have hurt his standing with the moderate New Hampshire voters he appealed to, but the bills’ tough stance on Planned Parenthood is likely to appeal to the more conservative South Carolina voters in whose state Governor Kasich has begun to campaign.
The bill itself does not expressly target Planned Parenthood; however it is the company that will likely be the most affected. As NBC News reports, the legislation would deny Planned Parenthood roughly 1.3 million dollars in grant funding, as it would deny any funding to entities that promote, perform, or contract abortions, along with any further associated entities tied to the abortions. NBC News notes that Planned Parenthood is not even mentioned in the bill.
This bill has attracted national attention; along with other Ohio media outlets, The New York Times also wrote an editorial concerning the bill.
NBC News reports that Kasich is likely to sign the bill into law, citing that in a brief exchange in New Hampshire, Kasich said that if he was president he would not grant Planned Parenthood or facilities that provide abortions any federal funding, even if it was part of a balanced budget. It was further noted that for Ohio to pass such a bill, might have implications for the attitudes of the rest of the country.
This action is controversial, drawing support and controversy from different camps. People supporting abortion providers have spoken out against the bill and Kasich’s likely support of it. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio have purchased numerous ads and ad-space devoted to attacking Kasich, the bill, and speaking in favor of Planned Parenthood, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Undaunted by the attacks, Governor John Kasich took to Facebook and said “Planned Parenthood can’t and won’t intimidate me.
I’m proudly pro-life.” A spokesperson for Kasich further supported this claim, noting that the Ohio Department of Health already stopped state money from going to Planned Parenthood in part of Kasich and legislature’s work to ensure public money is allocated to the best purpose, as reported by The Columbus Dispatch.
This is part of Kasich’s positive campaign, where he has stated that he will not stoop to, nor be deterred by negativity. He assured voters that he wouldn’t be a “pincushion or marshmallow” who people could push around, but he wasn’t going to be caught up in the negative personal attacks that have become somewhat commonplace in the Republican campaigns.
Editor’s Note: Information from NBC News, The Columbus Dispatch and CBS News was used in this report.