State and federal officials in Ohio gathered at the Statehouse in Columbus today to announce their plan to defund and investigate Planned Parenthood in the wake of the latest and most gruesome sting video.
At the rally, state Rep. Bill Patmon, a Cleveland Democrat, announced that he is co-sponsoring new legislation that will “cut off all state funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers that is used for other services.”
While Ohio already prohibits state funding from being used to pay for abortions, Patmon said his bill, co-sponsored by Butler County Republican Rep. Margaret Conditt, would ensure the $1.3 million per year given to Planned Parenthood by the state isn’t co-mingled with money used for abortions.
Patmon said the issue is especially important to African-Americans, as 63 percent of the 5,499 abortions performed in Cuyahoga County in 2013 involved black women.
“You hear a lot of demonstrations across the country now about Black Lives Matter,” Patmon said. “Well, they skipped one place – they should be in front of Planned Parenthood.”
The Cleveland Democrat began his speech talking about his own family background, as the son of a Southern woman with an eighth grade education, which he noted made her a prime candidate for what Planned Parenthood was looking for: “Not much education, a desire to succeed, and being told — ‘you can do this later, let’s get rid of this one.'”
Patmon added, “Well, she didn’t get rid of this one…”
Planned Parenthood, clearly concerned that attempts to defund will gain a foothold, on Tuesday hired “high-profile” Washington PR firm SKDKnickerbocker to help it deal with the ongoing scandal.
The additional PR firepower reflects the growing pressure on the women’s health organization amid building GOP calls to cut its $540 million in government funding. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) earlier this week called to halt Planned Parenthood’s federal funding while Congress investigates whether the organization broke a federal ban on profiting from fetal tissue donation. The Senate plans to hold a vote on a defunding amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and others that is likely to fail.
SKDKnickerbocker is no newbie to working on Planned Parenthood issues. The Democratically aligned firm is run by well-connected operatives, including Anita Dunn and Hilary Rosen. It also worked with the group during the 2012 election cycle, according to SKDKnickerbocker’s website.