Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio is tapping into the national organization’s emergency funds to be able to provide birth control and other health care services to low-income women.
This move allows the organization to comply with a Trump administration order that bans federal dollars from going to clinics that refer clients for abortions. The Department of Health and Human Services announced this week it would begin enforcing the rule, along with another requirement that clinics maintain separate finances from faciliites that provide abortions.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio had previously received about $4 million from the federal government for its non-abortion services, including family planning, cancer screenings and basic health care. Spokeswoman Sarah Inskeep says it is the only provider of its kind in nine Ohio counties, and without help from the national Planned Parenthood organization, low-income women would suffer.
“So we are talking people that have nowhere else to go, who come in for what they know is a need for health care, and they can come in and not fear being turned away for their inability to pay for their service that day," Inskeep says.
Known as Title X, the family-planning program serves about 4 million women annually through independent clinics, many operated by Planned Parenthood affiliates, which serve about 40% of all clients. The program provides about $260 million a year in grants to clinics.
At least 21 states, along with medical and reproductive rights groups, have filed lawsuits challenging the Title X changes.
Ohio lawmakers have already stripped the organization of more than $1 million in state funding.
Meanwhile, the state’s new budget provides $7.5 million dollars to “crisis pregnancy centers” that steer women away from abortion options. Those centers may or may not provide birth control options.