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Proposed Planned Parenthood Funding Cut Pulled From Budget Bill

Members of an Ohio House committee considering a mid year budget adjustment have stripped out a controversial part that would have cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood in Ohio. The mid year budget adjustment bill had contained a provision that would take money away from Planned Parenthood and give it to community health centers instead. Anti-abortion groups were ready to do the victory dance but that was before lawmakers in the house decided to pull that measure. Ohio Right to Life’s Mike Gonadakis says he was disappointed by the action but not discouraged. He says there’s no question the provision could have withstood legal challenge. "We drafted this legislation to avoid lawsuits like what happened in Texas or any other states. This would simply divert money from the abortion industry and give it to our community health centers," Gonadakis said. Gonadakis said he plans to continue to talk to lawmakers in an attempt to convince the Ohio Senate to put the measure back in the budget bill. "We are going to continue to work with the legislature. We have pro life majorities in the house and senate. We are a little unclear as to why this is happening but we will continue to work with it," Gonadakis said. The committee’s action was a nice surprise for Gary Doughtery with Planned Parenthood of Ohio. We are obviously very pleased and we will continue the discussion in the Senate to make sure it stays out," Daughtery said. Daughtery says the budget adjustment bill is not the place for this type of legislation. "I think that it’s a common sense issue. I think when people take a look at it and realize that this is, up to now, a 2,399 page budget bill and we are dealing with non budget items - health care issues that affect women throughout the state," Daughtery said. "This is not the place to have that discussion. We are willing to have that discussion but this is not the appropriate venue." During the past week, Daughtery says backers of his group have been calling lawmakers, asking this funding cut to be removed from the bill.