Kasich Defunds Planned Parenthood
Group warns that move will have 'devastating consequences'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2016 1:26 AM CST
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during a campaign rally in Wakefield, Mass., on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

(Newser) – In a move likely to please the next batch of Republican primary voters, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill on Sunday that effectively defunds Planned Parenthood in his state. The bill he signed doesn't actually name Planned Parenthood, CNN reports, but it bans Ohio from contracting health services with any group that performs abortions, meaning that more than $1 million in state grants for services like cancer screenings will be sent elsewhere. Kasich has long been an outspoken opponent of abortion and had been expected to sign the bill, though it's not clear whether it will survive court challenges, Cleveland.com reports.

The move was denounced by Planned Parenthood chief Cecile Richards. "This legislation will have devastating consequences for women across Ohio," she said in a statement. "John Kasich is proudly eliminating care for expectant mothers and newborns; leaving thousands without vital STD and HIV testing, slashing a program to fight domestic violence, and cutting access to essential, basic health care." The governor's office countered that the state's Department of Health has "150 other sub-grantees and contractors for the affected grants and projects," and they will be invited to submit proposals for the programs Planned Parenthood has lost funding for. (Kasich finished fifth in the South Carolina GOP primary.)