The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals handed pro-life advocates in Ohio a major victory on Tuesday with a majority ruling that the state can cut funding to Planned Parenthood. The decision overturns a lower court ruling that had blocked the state legislature from stripping the abortion clinic of $1.5 million in state taxpayer funds annually. According to the judges signed on to the majority ruling, there is nothing unconstitutional about the state denying abortion clinics access to health department funds “because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions.”
If upheld in the long run, the ruling will bring to an end Planned Parenthood’s participation in the state’s public health funding initiative. They’ve been in the program for several years, receiving state funds for their activities in relation to targeting STDs, screening for breast cancer, and participating in initiatives to decrease teen pregnancy and infant mortality.
Planned Parenthood representatives insist that none of the public money went to the organization’s abortion clinics, but then, this is the same nonsense argument they make on the national stage. If you’re getting money from one source over here, you can simply move a few numbers on your budget and save money over there. At the end of the day, Ohio taxpayers are indirectly funding abortion. As are federal taxpayers, of course.
“Private organizations do not have a constitutional right to obtain governmental funding to support their activities,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the majority. “The state also may choose not to subsidize constitutionally protected activities. Just as it has no obligation to provide a platform for an individual’s free speech, it has no obligation to pay for a woman’s abortion.”
Sutton’s opinion leaves out the inconvenient fact that abortion is nowhere to be found in the Constitution, but that’s a matter for another day. The important thing is that we have this groundbreaking ruling which states simply that abortion clinics do not have a constitutional right to public monies. That ruling alone could be used in a historic lawsuit against Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, and we hope to see that happen sooner than later. Defunding this morally bankrupt institution isn’t quite on the level of overturning Roe v. Wade, but it’s a step in the right direction.