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Divided Sixth Circuit rules against Planned Parenthood in Ohio funding fight

R. Robin McDonald writes in the National Law Journal, "A split en banc ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has cleared the way for Ohio to cut funding to health care groups that provide abortions.

Tuesday’s 11-6 ruling in a case brought by Planned Parenthood in Ohio overturns a unanimous three-judge panel and a district court, which had found an Ohio law meant to prevent funding from going to groups that provide or promote abortions was unconstitutional. But the en banc panel on Monday found there is no constitutional violation, since there is no due process right to perform abortions.

Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote the majority opinion holding that Ohio’s law “will not create an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion.”

“Private organizations do not have a constitutional right to obtain governmental funding to support their activities,” Sutton wrote. “The state also may choose not to subsidize constitutionally protected activities. Just as it has no obligation to provide a platform for an individual’s free speech, say a Speaker’s Corner in downtown Columbus, it has no obligation to pay for a woman’s abortion. Case after case establishes that a government may refuse to subsidize abortion services.” READ MORE>>

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