U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks at a campaign town hall meeting in Worcester, Mass., Feb. 20, 2016. 
Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

Gov. John Kasich signs bill to strip Ohio Planned Parenthood of government funds

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill on Sunday to divert Planned Parenthood of government funding in the state. 

The expected move comes one day after the presidential contender’s lackluster finish in the South Carolina Republican primary, in which Kasich placed fifth with 8 percent out of the six viable candidates

While the piece of legislation, known as House Bill 294, does not mention Planned Parenthood specifically, supporters say the organization would be affected most by the bill. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio launched digital advertisements and videos against the governor earlier this week when the bill was sent to his desk.

The measure targets about $1.3 million in funds that Planned Parenthood receives via the state’s Department of Health. The funding, which largely comes from federal sources, covers cancer screenings, HIV testing and initiatives to prevent domestic violence, but the legislation would forbid funding institutions that are affiliated with abortion. Under the bill, Ohio’s health department must “ensure that state funds and certain federal funds are not used either to perform or promote nontherapeutic abortions, or to contract or affiliate with any entity that performs or promotes nontherapeutic abortions,” according to a statement from Kasich’s office.

Kasich signed a state budget in 2013 that reduced funding to Planned Parenthood and has signed at least 16 pieces of anti-abortion legislation since he assumed the governorship in 2011.

Kailani Koenig contributed to this report.