Judge blocks Ohio law to divert Planned Parenthood money

Posted at 12:45 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 12:45:52-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A federal judge has blocked an Ohio law that diverts public money from Planned Parenthood.

U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett in Cincinnati sided with Planned Parenthood Friday in granting a permanent injunction. The law was initially set to take effect in May, though court orders have suspended it.

Planned Parenthood says the law violates the organization's constitutional rights by denying it public funds "in retaliation for" providing abortions. But the state's attorneys say Ohio gets to choose how to spend the public's money.

The law targets money the organization gets through Ohio's health department. That money is mostly from the federal government and supports initiatives that provide HIV tests, cancer screenings and other prevention services.

The Ohio law would have barred such funds from going to entities that perform or promote abortions.