WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) highlighted the harmful impacts of a new Ohio law that prevents local health clinics from using federal funding for programs like cervical and breast cancer screening, HIV/AIDS prevention, and rape prevention. Brown discussed the cuts to women’s health care in Ohio on the same day that the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt – a case challenging so-called “trap laws” in Texas designed to shut down clinics like Planned Parenthood.
“If the Court rules in favor of the Texas law, which would close health clinics across the state, it will set a dangerous precedent that could lead to more clinic closures across the country, including in Ohio,” Brown said. “These clinics are often the only place where women and men can turn for basic health services, but they are consistently the target of state legislatures which pass laws designed to limit access and restrict necessary funding for these critical services.”
Brown was joined on a news conference call today by Tiff Wolf, a Sugar Grove resident, who relied on Planned Parenthood clinics for basic health services. During a routine health screening at the clinic, Wolf's physician detected precancerous lesions.
Nineteen states – including Ohio – have laws on the books with requirements similar to the Texas law. Last month, the Ohio legislature passed legislation that was signed into law to prohibit more than $1.3 million in state and federal funding – used for educational programs and screening services – from going to Planned Parenthood and similar health care providers.
Specifically, the legislation would prohibit Ohio clinics and hospitals from using federal dollars for any programs established by:
- The Violence Against Women Act
- The Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act
- The Infertility prevention project
- The Minority HIV/AIDS initiative
- The Personal responsibility education program