CINCINNATI — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati ruled March 12 that the state of Ohio can stop funding Medicaid services provided by Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities.
In an 11-6 vote, the court overturned a ruling last year by a three-judge panel of the court that the funding ban violated the due process rights of Planned Parenthood affiliates.
“Private organizations do not have a constitutional right to obtain governmental funding to support their activities,” said Judge Jeffrey Sutton, who wrote in the majority opinion.
“The state also may choose not to subsidize constitutionally protected activities,” he continued. “Just as it has no obligation to provide a platform for an individual’s free speech, say a speaker’s corner in downtown Columbus, it has no obligation to pay for a woman’s abortion. Case after case establishes that a government may refuse to subsidize abortion services.”
Sutton also said Ohio’s law does not “create an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion.”
Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, said in a March 12 statement the organization applauded “the court’s strong denunciation of Planned Parenthood’s ‘Big Lie’ that it represents the best interests of women when it advocates for the kind of unlimited abortion on demand that New York recently adopted.”
“We look forward to a similar conclusion by the federal courts affirming this (Trump) administration’s decision to keep Title X funds out of the hands of abortionists like Planned Parenthood,” she added.
Americans United for Life filed a friend-of-the-court-brief in the case, Planned Parenthood v. Hodges.
The head of the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List called the 6th Circuit’s decision “a major victory for pro-life Ohioans and all Americans fighting to keep their own tax dollars from being used to prop up the abortion industry.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, the organization’s president said Americans “have repeatedly expressed their opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which destroys more than 332,000 innocent unborn children a year.”
Those dollars, she added, “could be redirected to life-affirming care providers, such as the growing number of community health alternatives,” which she said outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities “at least 20 to one nationwide.”