Planned Parenthood sues Ohio, claims legislative defunding is unconstitutional

Planned Parenthood is suing the state of Ohio for allegedly violating the U.S. Constitution by defunding the organization through the passing of a new law, according to Cleveland.com.

An Ohio law signed in February bars the state from contracting for health services with any organization that performs or promotes non-therapeutic abortions. An organization can still perform abortions, but it would become ineligible for state health contracts, according to the report.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio are seeking to block the law from taking effect May 23 as planned through the jointly filed lawsuit, according to the report.

Under the law, about $1.3 million in state-directed grants from Ohio's 28 Planned Parenthood facilities will be redirected to federally qualified health centers, health departments and other healthcare centers that don't perform elective abortions or contract with organizations that do. The law also reserves about $250,000 from Medicaid funding for community health centers.

While the funding only makes up about 5 percent of Planned Parenthood's budget, the organization claims the funding accounts for more than half of its educational budget, as well as a significant percentage of funding for health screenings, including those for sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.

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