The state Senate passed a bill last week that includes $5 million for over 200 crisis pregnancy centers that primarily serve low-income women. The proposal increasing the funding by five times comes after a federal appeals court upheld an Ohio law that pulled funding from Planned Parenthood, which received $1.5 million in annual state funds.
“This is the first budget opportunity we’ve had since then to invest additional funds into crisis pregnancy centers,” Senate President Larry Obhof, a Republican, told Tony Perkins on Washington Watch.
The Republican-controlled state is expected to pass this version of the two-year, $69 billion state operating budget.
Critics say pro-life centers offer inaccurate medical advice, but supporters say the funding boost will help provide counseling to women with unplanned pregnancies, free ultrasounds, parenting classes and baby items.
Jamie Miracle at NARAL Pro Choice Ohio told WOSU the pro-life centers are "fake women's health centers that provide incomplete care at best and lies and manipulation at worst."
Sen. Sandra Williams, a Cleveland Democrat, tried to remove the $5 million allocated to the pro-life centers.
"The funds in this program do not go to evidence-based initiatives proven to reduce infant and maternal mortality,” Williams said. “Rather, they go to organizations with anti-choice agendas who often offer inaccurate medical information."
However, her amendment failed and the proposed budget passed unanimously, which Obhof believes will be the final version of the bill, which needs to be reconciled with the House version and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine by June 30.