Today, Planned Parenthood began airing an advertisement in central Ohio and online regarding certain provisions of the state operating budget. State Representatives Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) and Nan Baker (R-Westlake), who sponsored House Bill 108 on rape crisis center funding, issued the responses below.
The following can be attributed to Rep. Schuring:
“HB 108 is the exact language that was inserted into the budget, and both Planned Parenthood and its allies at the Statehouse knew that when the bill was on the House floor. It included language on the counseling of sexual assault victims that they now rail against.
“HB 108 received overwhelming support in the House, passing with a bipartisan and unanimous vote. Moreover, the statewide advocates for rape victims wrote a letter indicating the counseling language would not impact services to victims of sexual assault in Ohio. To that end, the budget provides much needed funding for rape crisis centers at a time when there is a critical need to expand the healing services that the centers offer to women who are victims of these heinous crimes. Ironically, it is for that very reason that the members of the House, including supporters of Planned Parenthood, gave their unanimous support to the HB 108 language that was inserted in the budget.”
The following can be attributed to Rep. Baker:
“The advertisement currently being aired by Planned Parenthood is part of a larger effort to attack and place blame in places it shouldn't be. It is hypocritical not to acknowledge that every Ohio House legislator including every Ohio House Democrat, without exception, voted for House Bill 108 as written; and that's because it's a great bill. I am so thankful that it became part of the state operating budget.
“House Bill 108 does not restrict what is discussed between the doctor and a victim. Rape Crisis Centers offer crisis intervention and counseling services only; they do not get involved in the decisions that women make. The $2 million in funding will address several concerns such as lack of available and centralized information on assistance, managing hotlines, the challenges in prosecuting cases, and education on awareness and prevention. I applaud every legislator who voted in support of House Bill 108, including my Democratic colleagues, and I’m confident that it will help the nearly three-quarters of a million adult women living in Ohio who are survivors of rape, as well as men and children who are victims of sexual assault.”