The Republican members of the Ohio House introduced a bill Wednesday night that would defund Planned Parenthood in the state. House Bill 298 would allocate federal funding to health centers within the state. Under an introduced amendment, funding would be cut off from organizations that provide abortion services.

Ohio lawmakers and women gathered on the steps of the statehouse to speak out against the proposed cuts. Ohio State Senator Nina Turner said the bill is “a vicious, egregious assault on the rights of women.” Ohio State Legislative Director for Planned Parenthood, Gary Dougherty, also spoke out against the bill, saying “it has nothing to do with abortion. It has everything to do with limiting access to preventative health care for nearly 100,000 people.”

If the bill is passed, Ohio will be the tenth state to defund Planned Parenthood. Under Federal law, tax dollars cannot be used for abortions. Planned Parenthood health centers across the country provide contraception and basic health care, including family planning, cancer screenings, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections to approximately 2.5 million women per year, including over one million cervical cancer screenings and 830,000 breast exams.

NBC Local News 4/18/12; the Daily Beast 4/18/12; ABC Local News 4/18/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/29/11

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