SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utah has become the next state to defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood following the release of several videos that appear to show the organization admitting to the harvesting and selling of fetal organs.
“The allegations against Planned Parenthood are deeply troubling,” wrote Gov. Gary Hebert (R) in a statement on Friday.
“Current Utah state law prohibits the use of state funds to provide abortions by Planned Parenthood or any other organization. The federal government has provided grants to Planned Parenthood, distributed through the Utah Department of Health. These funds are also prohibited from being used to perform abortions,” he continued.
“In light of ongoing concerns about the organization, I have instructed state agencies to cease acting as an intermediary for pass-through federal funds to Planned Parenthood.”
However, according to Fox13 in Salt Lake City, Planned Parenthood can still receive the funds if it finds its own way outside of the Department of Health to obtain the funding.
According to reports, Planned Parenthood in Utah received approximately $100,000 this year for testing residents for sexually transmitted diseases, $115,000 for abstinence and “personal responsibility education” and over $1,000 to provide pregnancy tests and other tests to rape victims.
Karrie Galloway, the executive director of the Planned Parenthood Association, told the Salt Lake Tribune that she believes Hebert’s decision is “purely political” because “the GOP wants to defund Planned Parenthood.”
“To be perfectly honest, I’m appalled that the governor is making policy decisions according to news reports of allegations—without looking at Planned Parenthood’s 50-year history in the state of Utah,” she said, “and the fact that we have never erroneously used any state or federal money outside the rules.”
As previously reported, four other states have decided thus far to withdraw from providing financial aid to Planned Parenthood due to the release of undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress. On Friday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that he had directed the state Department of Human Services to terminate its Medicaid contract with the organization.
The New Hampshire State Executive Council voted earlier this month despite objections from Gov. Mary Hassan to cancel its $650,000 contract with the abortion giant, and the day prior, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced that the state would terminate Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid contract.
“Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life,” he said. “It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.”