Judge Blocks Ohio Anti-Abortion Law

Law would have defunded Planned Parenthood
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2016 7:15 AM CDT
Judge Blocks Ohio Anti-Abortion Law
Planned Parenthood employees discuss the legislation with Columbus residents earlier this year.   (Eric Albrecht/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)

An Ohio anti-abortion law signed by Gov. John Kasich during his presidential bid is unconstitutional and will do "irreparable injury" to Planned Parenthood and its patients, a federal judge ruled Friday The law effectively defunded Planned Parenthood by banning funds from the state's health department from going to any organization that provides abortions, NBC reports. But the funds in question weren't for abortion, but for programs including cancer screenings, STD prevention, reduction of infant mortality, and sexual health education. Ohio "cannot condition funding for these programs based on a recipient's exercise of the right to free speech or association outside of these programs," the judge ruled.

"This law would have been especially burdensome to communities of color and people with low income who already often have the least access to care this law would have made a bad situation worse," Iris Harvey, President of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, said in a statement, per the AP . "Politicians have no business blocking patients from the care they need—and today the court stopped them in their tracks." Ohio says it plans to appeal the ruling made by US District Judge Michael Barrett, who was appointed by George W. Bush. (In June, the Supreme Court struck down Texas' tough restrictions on abortion clinics.)

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