- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—COLUMBUS — A pair of state lawmakers, a Democrat and a Republican, today introduced a bill calling for Ohio to complete the process of cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood in the wake of videos that appear to depict organization representatives discussing the pricing of fetal tissue and organs.

Roughly 200 rallied at the Statehouse as part of a national protest.

“The rationale that I’ve seen advanced in the news media is that they’re not really paying for these parts,” said state Auditor Dave Yost, a Republican. “They’re just taking fees to offset their costs …”

He pointed to the latest graphic video from Denver released today in which a doctor appears to favor per-item pricing to see what it would garner.

“That doesn’t sound to me like covering costs,” Mr. Yost said. “Maybe I’m a suspicious old former prosecutor, but that sounds an awful lot to me like a profit motive.”

Planned Parenthood of Ohio has said it is not involved in fetal tissue donation in this state, which forbids such activity.

“The videos in question are heavily edited and do not reflect Planned Parenthood’s long commitment to providing high quality health care to millions of Americans,” said Sandy Theis, executive director of the liberal advocacy group ProgressOhio.

“Fetal tissue research has led to medical miracles,” she said. “Groundbreaking fetal research created vaccines against measles, rubella, and other diseases, and human fetal kidney cells were used to develop the polio vaccine that resulted in the 1954 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Ohio leaders should be focusing on ways to enhance medical research, not undermine it. “

Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine, who did not attend the rally, has launched a state investigation. A representative of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said the senator has called for a federal investigation.

In addition to Mr. Yost, the rally was joined by fellow Republicans Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, Secretary of State Jon Husted, and Senate President Keith Faber (R., Celina) and by Rep. Bill Patmon (D., Cleveland).

The Democratic lawmaker joined Rep. Margaret Conditt, a southwest Ohio Republican, in introducing a bill to cut off all government funding from the organization. Mr. Faber voiced support for the move.

Through recent budgets, Ohio has already all but defunded Planned Parenthood, placing it at the bottom of the priority list when it comes to disbursing federal family planning dollars and redirecting pregnancy center funding.


(c)2015 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

Visit The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) at www.toledoblade.com

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