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First Amendment sidelined in defunding of Planned Parenthood in Ohio

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Ohio could cut its funding of Planned Parenthood because it conducts abortions. The court ruled that the Ohio law defunding abortion services “does not violate the Constitution because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions.” (Politico, March 12, 2019, by Alice Miranda Ollstein)

The court majority did not consider the First Amendment argument, that the withdrawal of funding violated the free speech rights of Planned Parenthood, on the grounds that the defunding was justified on other grounds. ” For the dissent,” writes law professor Ruthann Robson in Constitutional Law Prof Blog, March 12, 2019, “the free speech claim was not mooted and should be successful as in Agency for Int’l Dev. v. Alliance for Open Soc’y Int’l (2013).”

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