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Local elected officials fight Kasich's decision to cut funds to Planned Parenthood

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Youngstown Clerk of Courts and a Mahoning County Commissioner speak out against, what they call, an assault against poor and middle class women in Ohio.

They say Governor John Kasich and the Republicans who voted to defund Planned Parenthood are doing a major disservice.

Mahoning Commissioner Carol Rimedio Righetti and Youngstown Clerk of Courts Sarah Brown Clark say the Ohio Budget Bill takes away funds from Planned Parenthood and women's clinics.

They argue that the Bill, passed by Republicans and signed into law by Governor John Kasich, is taking away services needed by some women to keep them healthy and potentially save their lives.

"They're coming for critical preventative health care, like breast exams, pap tests and all the other things that pertain to women's health," says Rimedio Righetti.

Planned Parenthood is not the only association on the bill, however, since it also provides abortions, it would not be eligible for the state funding.

The seven percent loss in state funding will have a greater impact since federal dollars are, in many cases, tied to the state's contribution.

"The estimated amount of money lost is about $1.4 million in the state of Ohio, which would result in immediate closing of three clinics and significantly impact the continuing operation of the remaining clinics," says Brown Clark.

Rimedio Righetti and Brown Clark are encouraging all women and men to call the lawmakers who voted for the two-year budget bill and to remember at election time.

The Governor's office says this is political rhetoric, adding that Governor John Kasich is leading the effort to expand medicaid to over 180,000 working and poor women and men and their families.

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