How does Ohio currently distribute federal family planning money? It follows a competitive process, money going to those organizations best placed to make efficient and effective use of the funds. Thus, on the merits, Planned Parenthood affiliates across the state received about $1.7 million in the most recent cycle.
Now abortion opponents and their allies in the Statehouse want to make ideology the key factor. They propose to rig the selection process to deny Planned Parenthood any federal money.
All of this is part of a national effort by abortion opponents, even Mitt Romney adding his voice. Of course, Planned Parenthood already is prevented from using the family planning money for abortion services. That isn’t enough for its critics.
What bears repeating is that 90 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services cover such things as birth control, screenings for cancer and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. For many women, these and other health-care services are not as readily available elsewhere.
So when supporters of the new criteria talk about expanding health services for women, know that they are taking aim at an organization that has filled successfully just such a purpose. More, few have been as successful in meeting the goal so many share: reducing the number of abortions.