Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruled it is Constitutional for the State of Ohio to Defund Planned Parenthood.
In an 11-6 vote on March 12th, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it is indeed constitutional for the state of Ohio to defund Planned Parenthood. This bill will protect $1.5 million taxpayer dollars from going to the abortion giant in our state. It upholds Ohio's law prohibiting six different grant funds from going to organizations that promote, refer or perform abortions. It is indeed a constitutional exercise of state authority.
The significance of this ruling should not be lost on the pro-life movement. In 2016, the original restraining order of Judge Michael Barrett was appealed by then Attorney General DeWine, but the state lost at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals by a 2-1 decision. AG DeWine continued to pursue this and asked the court to re-hear the case in banc. It should be noted that the court is not required to grant such a request, and they are rarely granted. However, they granted this one likely the basis that the question raised in the appeal was one of exceptional importance. Then the entire court ruled 11-6 to reverse the restraining order, finding the Ohio law defunding Planned Parenthood to be constitutional. We are not aware of any other circuit court of appeals that has so ruled. There are only 13 circuit courts of appeal and they are just beneath the United States Supreme Court. This ruling could be significant should this case or a similar one come before the Supreme Court.
Judge Jeffrey Sutton who clerked for both Justices Kennedy and Scalia, wrote the majority opinion. Judge Sutton says, "Private organizations do not have a constitutional right to obtain governmental funding to support their activities. 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, 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." The Ohio Health Department says it will end funding within a month. An appeal by Planned Parenthood is anticipated to the United States Supreme Court.
Greater Toledo Right to Life 5726 Southwyck Blvd., Ste. 120 Toledo, Ohio 43614 phone: (419)535-5800