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Ohio lawmakers approve bill defunding Planned Parenthood

[JURIST] Ohio lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill [HB 294, PDF] that would block federal and state funds from reaching groups that promote or perform abortions, effectively defunding Planned Parenthood. The bill passed in the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 62-32 and will now be sent to Governor John Kasich [official website], who is expected to sign. The bill will cut funding [Reuters report] of $1.3 million annually to Planned Parenthood, which also performs services such as HIV testing and pre-natal care. Planned Parenthood Greater Ohio of Ohio [advocacy website] currently has 20 centers within the state, only two of which provide abortion procedures.

Last month President Barack Obama vetoed legislation [JURIST report] that would have defunded Planned Parenthood. In August Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, alleging that Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's termination of Medicaid provider agreements for the facility violates a federal law that requires Medicaid beneficiaries to have a choice in provider for family planning. Also in August the Alaska Superior Court struck down [JURIST report] a state law it says would have unfairly burdened low-income individuals by limiting Medicaid funding for abortions.

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