The Republicans in the Ohio Legislature care more about ideology above the Constitution.
That is the only conclusion we can draw from the decision to continue to defund Planned Parenthood in the latest budget proposal.
As BudgetWatcher highlighted about a year ago, the idea is to “re-prioritize” state family planning and other services in such a way that Planned Parenthood would no receive any funding.
As we noted back last February, this law is unconstitutional. The gist of the argument is that a state plan to reallocate federal family planning in a way that leaves little or no money for Planned Parenthood or similar groups violates the Free Speech, Association, and Due Process rights of Planned Parenthood. This is because the law is designed to punish Planned Parenthood for its advocacy of abortion rights and provision of constitutionally protected medical services.
This isn’t our theory. This is what the federal courts have consistently held.
Recently: A federal judge in Arizona blocked that state from defunding Planned Parenthood in substantially the same way that Ohio would.
The hope that the conservative majority on the Supreme Court would intervene to help Republicans suffered a significant blow yesterday when the Supreme Court declined to her an appeal from a decision blocking Indiana from defunding Planned Parenthood.
And we haven’t even mentioned how this is terrible policy and will harm vulnerable women.
In the end, Ohio Republicans will spend taxpayer money trying to defend a clearly unconstitutional law in order to make an ideological point.
Didn’t they take some kind of oath to uphold the constitution??