6th Circuit Court of Appeals considers merits of pro-life law
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Katherine Franklin
DATE: Thursday, August 3, 2017 PHONE: 614-547-0099 ext. 304
COLUMBUS, Ohio--Today, Attorney General Mike DeWine defended the constitutionality of Ohio's law de-funding Planned Parenthood before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The law, which would have de-funded the abortion provider of $1.3 million in taxpayer funding, was a top legislative priority for Ohio Right to Life in 2015-2016. After being signed by Governor John Kasich last February, Planned Parenthood sued, and the law was struck down by a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. Today's appeal could result in the reversal of that decision.
“Ohio Right to Life commends Attorney General DeWine for defending the conscience rights of taxpayers this morning,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “There is simply no reason that taxpayers should be forced to prop up an entity whose core business model we fundamentally oppose. Abortion may be legal in this country, but there's no Supreme Court doctrine that forces taxpayers to fund it. We firmly believe that the Sixth Circuit Court will uphold our law as constitutional and deal Planned Parenthood a stinging loss."
In a brief he filed in February, the Attorney General argued that states have a right to allocate taxpayer dollars how they choose, and that the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the government may provide taxpayer funds on the condition that the funds or services not be used for abortion.
“For more than a decade, it has been the public policy of the State of Ohio to prefer childbirth over abortion,” said Gonidakis. “If states' rights mean anything, Ohio should be allowed to allocate its funds according to that policy. There are literally hundreds of free clinics, federally qualified health centers, and pregnancy centers that women can turn to instead of Planned Parenthood. At the end of this fight, we believe the Sixth Circuit will see through Planned Parenthood's corporate greed and defend the conscience rights of taxpayers."
Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 45 chapters and local affiliates, is Ohio's oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death.