Redirects Funds to Federally Qualified Health Centers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, January 27, 2016 (Columbus, OH) – On party line vote in committee and on the Senate floor, the Ohio Senate adopted Am. Sub. House Bill 294, which disqualifies abortion businesses from receiving certain federal funds administered by the Ohio Department Of Health.
Dozens of witnesses provided testimony over two days of hearings. Barry Sheets, legislative consultant for Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati noted, “Opponents mischaracterized the bill as taking away health care options from low-income Ohioans, whereas the reality is that there are 10 times the number of federally qualified community health centers than Planned Parenthood outlets in Ohio.”
Pro-life leaders applaud the hard work of the bill’s sponsors, Representatives Margaret Conditt of Butler County and Bill Patmon of Cleveland. Outside this bill, loopholes do still remain for abortionists to receive Medicaid reimbursements.
“Bill and Margy’s efforts go a long way toward keeping taxpayer dollars from abortion providers,” stated Molly Smith, President of Cleveland Right to Life. “We now look toward Governor Kasich to complete this work by issuing an executive order disqualifying these entities from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for abortions.”
“House Bill 294 re-directs over $1 million per year of taxpayer funds away from the abortion industry,” commented Paula Westwood, Executive Director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati. “Now the goal is for our legislative leaders to quickly address the far larger funding amount in Medicaid reimbursements to abortionists, which is a misuse of citizens’ money.”
The legislation must now return to the Ohio House for review and concurrence (agreement with version just passed) on February 10th. If this occurs, the bill will go to Governor John Kasich for signature, and once signed, take effect 90 days after.
“We will continue to call on Governor Kasich to take quick action to guarantee that those who provide abortions will not be rewarded with taxpayer dollars, no matter what pot those dollars come from,” stated Linda Theis, President of Ohio ProLife Action. “We will be watching to see if the Governor is listening to a very large segment of Ohio voters.”