Health and Aging Committee members heard testimony Wednesday about a bill that would restrict funding to Planned Parenthood.
House Bill 298, known as the “Family Planning Bill,” drew a crowd and controversy Wednesday, 10TV’s Jessa Goddard reported.
Laura Smales, a student at The Ohio State University, said that she receives all of her reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood.
“And I go there, because it’s convenient, and it’s cheaper for me to go there,” Smales said.
Smales said that she started going to Planned Parenthood after a private physician told her that she could not have the birth control that she wanted.
“They agreed that the type of birth control that I wanted was actually the right type for me, so they did provide me with that birth control,” Smales said.
Beth Lonn of Planned Parenthood Ohio said that H.B. 298 would establish a new priority system for federal family planning dollars.
“It won’t change the services we provide, what it will do is hurt the women who come to us for services,” Lonn said. “They choose to come to Planned Parenthood. One in five women in America come to Planned Parenthood to get their health care services, and for many women, we’re the only place that they go.”
Ohio Right To Life supporters said that the legislation would not stop Planned Parenthood from receiving money, but it would not make funding the organization a top priority.
“So, if the issue is about the good work that they’re doing, they can do the good work they want to do,” said Stephanie Ranade-Krider of Ohio Right To Life. “But we don’t need to be subsidizing their operations when they’re the nation’s largest abortion provider.”
Smales said that the legislation is about choice, not a women’s right to choose, but a patient’s right to choose her own doctor, Goddard reported.
“People have their own doctors that they like to go to, and Planned Parenthood is mine,” Smales said. “So, that would be my biggest fear, that I wouldn’t be able to go there anymore.”
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