Guess who said it?

Ohio lawmakers have no valid reason to steer Medicaid funding away from Planned Parenthood.

By establishing a priority order that puts public entities first and moves to the bottom “nonpublic entities that provide family planning services, but do not provide comprehensive primary and preventive care services,” House Bill 298 clearly aims to block funding to Planned Parenthood.

The reason is no secret: Some people disapprove of Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions.

That is not a valid reason to disqualify the organization as a provider of birth control, cancer screenings, prenatal care and other women’s health services. Nor is it an issue that belongs on Ohio’s legislative agenda.

Ohioans want lawmakers to focus on restoring the state’s economy and managing its budget wisely, yet Republican lawmakers persist in pushing divisive measures that pander to a minority in the party’s base of support.

Besides the pandering, de-funding Planned Parenthood is bad public policy.

Eliminating Planned Parenthood as an option for women who are forced to rely on Medicaid for their health care would be a disservice to those women. And it is not certain that a multitude of smaller organizations could replace all the service provided by Planned Parenthood, let alone do so efficiently.

Beyond all the ideological posturing, another fact remains: Better access to contraception, including that provided by Planned Parenthood, is the surest way to prevent abortions.

Columbus Dispatch editorial board

 

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