Florida’s Pro-Life Governor Ends Fight to Defend Law Defunding Abortion Giant Planned Parenthood

Rick Scott pdTALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s self-identifying pro-life governor recently agreed to end a legal fight to defend a new state law that would have defunded the abortion giant Planned Parenthood—at least for now.

As previously reportedHouse Bill 1411 was meant to reallocate funds that abortion providers had been receiving as Medicaid reimbursement, and to prohibit the government from contracting with organizations that offer abortion services—with the exceptions of rape, incest and the life of the mother. Florida abortion facilities receive approximately $200,0000 a year in Medicaid funds.

“A state agency, a local governmental entity, or a managed care plan … may not expend funds for the benefit of, pay funds to, or initiate or renew a contract with an organization that owns, operates, or is affiliated with one or more clinics,” the bill, signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott in March, reads.

Current state and federal law prohibits funds from being used toward abortion, but Florida lawmakers outlined that the state shouldn’t help keep abortion facilities in business either.

“We pay their light bill, we pay their salaries, we pay all kinds of things when the state contracts with these clinics,” Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, outlined on the Senate floor prior to the passage and signing of the legislation. “Let’s get Florida out of the abortion business. That’s what this bill does.”

Planned Parenthood soon sued, challenging various aspects of the law, and asserting that it would deprive the organization of $500,000 in funding used for screenings and school dropout prevention programs. It also took issue with a requirement that medical records being inspected yearly by the state, contending that doing so would violate the privacy of patients.

“[Planned Parenthood] cannot be prevented from getting government funding just because they provide abortions,” attorney Carrie Flaxman told the Orlando Sentinel.

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In July, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, appointed to the bench by then-President Bill Clinton, sided with Planned Parenthood, stating that the revocation of Medicaid funds is not “based not on any objection to how the funds are being spent … but solely because the recipients of the funds choose to provide abortions separate and apart from any public funding.”

He granted a temporary injunction against the law while the matter moved forward in court, and in the meantime, the Scott administration agreed not to continue with the case.

“[I]nstead of taking the case to trial and offering additional evidence or legal arguments, attorneys for the Scott administration agreed to forgo further legal action,” the Associated Press reports. “They filed a joint motion with the plaintiffs earlier this month agreeing to end the litigation. Hinkle held a brief hearing to discuss the move and issued his final ruling hours later.”

Hinkle issued a permanent injunction against the law, opining that “a government cannot prohibit indirectly—by withholding otherwise-available public funds—conduct that the government could not constitutionally prohibit directly.”

“The defendants must not terminate any grant, contract, or other funding device based on the enjoined provisions and must not fail to renew any grant, contract, or other funding device that, but for the enjoined provisions, would have been renewed or would be renewed,” he wrote.

Planned Parenthood called the development a “victory.”

Scott is still allowed to appeal if he desires, but his spokesperson would not say whether the state would do so. She only advised reporters that the administration is reviewing the ruling, adding, “Scott is a pro-life governor who believes in the sanctity of life.”

As previously reported, in its annual report released in late December, the national office of Planned Parenthood outlined that the organization performed 323,999 abortions nationwide during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

However, while the organization also claimed that it is “stronger than ever,” its figures showed that the number of women visiting Planned Parenthood is the lowest in almost a decade. The report totals its services provided as being 9,455,582, with business being down by nearly a million persons from the year before, when figures totaled 10,590,333.

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  • The Skeptical Chymist

    With the beginnings of the spread of the Zika virus, Florida should be on the forefront of making abortion easier to obtain, not more difficult.

    • cadcoke5

      Why not wait until after the child is born, and then determine if they will be a burden to society. And, then if they are found guilty of being expected to be a burden, have them executed. Particularly serious offenses by the child, can be punished by tearing their limbs off.

      That is how Planned Parenthood works, isn’t it?

    • Amos Moses

      Watch out for these Zika symptoms!
      Symptoms of Zika brain damage in adults include:

      • Believing anything you see on MSNBC.

      • Shopping at Whole Foods and thinking you’re not buying unlabeled GMOs.

      • Lining up to receive toxic flu shots every year (while being mercury poisoned in the process).

      • Giving money to Komen for the Cure (and thinking they actually want to find a cure).

      • Believing that government creates jobs (and the national debt doesn’t matter).

      • Thinking your depression is caused by a “chemical imbalance in the brain” that can only be cured by swallowing dangerous psychotropic drugs.

      • Stupidly believing that no extreme weather event ever happened in the history of the planet until mankind began burning fossil fuels. (OMG! It’s climate change!)

      By these standards, it appears that the majority of Americans have already had most of their brains eaten by Zika, right? Technically, that makes them all ZIKA ZOMBIES.

      • The Skeptical Chymist

        Ha ha, Amos! Very funny. Delusional, but funny.

        • Amos Moses

          By now just about everyone has heard of the zika virus, transmitted by mosquitos, which is said to cause brain damage in children. As worrisome as this is, an even bigger brain damage threat to young people is what I call the academic zika virus, transmitted by left-wing, politically-correct “educators.” There are exceptions, but undergraduate education in America has become one big socialist indoctrination academy that fills students’ heads with cultural Marxist myths, superstitions, and falsehoods while inculcating an infantile culture that teaches students to run crying to “safe rooms” if a dissenting voice should somehow appear on campus. All of this can be yours for a mere 50 grand a year at many universities.

          maybe we should have retro-active abortions for the infected? …………..

      • Tangent002

        That’s quite the laundry list of RWNJ talking points!