CINCINNATI, Ohio — The full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a prior ruling from three of its judges and has determined that the State of Ohio may lawfully exclude the abortion and contraception giant Planned Parenthood from receiving funding for federal health programs.
The court ruled that while mothers have a so-called “right” to an abortion, no entity has a right to perform them.
“Medical centers do not have a constitutional right to offer abortions. Yet, if we granted Planned Parenthood relief today, we would be effectively saying that they do,” wrote Judge Jeffrey Sutton, nominated to the bench by then-President George W. Bush, on behalf of the 11-6 majority. “That is not the role of the unconstitutional conditions doctrine.”
“To have an unconstitutional condition, the State must impose the condition on the individual (or entity) with the constitutional right. If there’s no right, there’s no unconstitutional condition. And the providers have no such constitutional right,” he explained.
He also noted that “Planned Parenthood does not plan to stop providing abortions, as representatives from each affiliate testified that they would sacrifice government funding to continue providing abortions,” and therefore, the law most likely “will not create an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion.”
As previously reported, in 2016, then-Gov. John Kasich signed H.B. 294 into law, which directs the Ohio Department of Health to ensure that funds received for the federal Violence Against Women Act, Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act, the infertility prevention project, the minority HIV/AIDS initiative, and
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