Local officials sound off on Planned Parenthood cuts

Cuts to women’s health care in Ohio’s new budget have local officials calling out Governor Kasich.

During a press conference Wednesday at Planned Parenthood in Youngstown, Mahoning County Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti and Youngstown Municipal Clerk of Court Sarah Brown-Clark spoke out about the cuts saying they threaten vital tests for women such as cancer screenings, HIV testing and birth control access.

Both said the cuts are an attack on Ohio’s lower and middle class women.

“They might say this is only a small part, don’t worry about it, really? The small parts lead to the bigger picture if you don’t nip it in the butt,” said Rimedio-Righetti. “Right now we are going to have more come down the line.”

The $62 billion state budget cuts Planned Parenthood from about $1.4 million federal family planning dollars by re-prioritizing who can receive the money.

Supporters say other providers of women’s health care have sprung up around the state and the move would give those centers a chance at government funds. But critics, including Democrats, argue Planned Parenthood provides needed preventive health care to low-income women that would be jeopardized.

Underlying the debate is Planned Parenthood’s role as a provider of abortions, a procedure supporters of the budget bill oppose funding with public dollars.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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