A Midwest state that previously stripped funding from Planned Parenthood out of its annual budget is now set to increase funding for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers.
Ohio’s state Senate passed a bill last week that includes $5 million for crisis pregnancy centers – a $4 million increase from previous budgets, according to Cleveland.com.
Earlier this year, a federal appeals court upheld an Ohio law that stripped most funding from Planned Parenthood. The organization received about $1.5 million in annual state funds.
“This is the first budget opportunity we’ve had since then to invest additional funds into crisis pregnancy centers,” said Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, a Republican, during an interview on Tony Perkins’ Washington Watch radio program.
Republicans control both chambers. Ohio’s governor, Mike DeWine, is a Republican.
Crisis pregnancy centers, Obhof said, provide women ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, prenatal care, parenting classes, counseling, diapers and clothes, and other financial aid.
Ohio has around 200 crisis pregnancy centers that serve low-income women “who need help,” Obhof said. The centers don’t perform abortions.
“They’re providing pretty valuable services to women in need, and that’s true for rural communities, suburban and urban alike,” he said.
Although the $5 million funding for crisis pregnancy centers is in the Senate and not the House versions of the budget, Obhof expects it to survive negotiations between the two chambers.
“I feel pretty strongly that this will be in the final version of the bill. We have a strong pro-life majority in the House,” he said.
Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, applauded the Senate bill.
“Of course, one of the most common talking points of the Left is that defunding Planned Parenthood hurts poor minorities,” Perkins said. “But Senator Obhof and the rest of Ohio's conservatives know, that's simply not true. The only ‘help’ Planned Parenthood is interested in providing low-income women is abortion. And in the end, that creates more problems than it solves. So, Obhof and company have tried to fund pro-life alternatives.”
Despite being defunded, Planned Parenthood can still receive Ohio Medicaid reimbursements, according to Cleveland.com.
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Pixabay
Video courtesy: Family Research Council
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.