Florida Governor Signs Bill To Defund Its Planned Parenthood Affiliate

Florida’s Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill that would revoke funding from Planned Parenthood and other abortion business in the state.

Early March, a bill to defund Planned Parenthood headed to the governor’s desk. This bill would require abortion doctors to meet certain health and safety standards. The bill passed through the state House approval and has been signed by Gov. Rick Scott.

This bill came as a response to a series of undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood clinics selling aborted babies’ body parts.

According to Life News, Jennefer Russo medical director at Planned Parenthood in Orange County, California was taped discussing how her business tries to harvest intact aborted babies’ bodies for a local biotech company. She further discussed how they have changed their abortion procedure to produce intact fetuses.

David Daleiden, CMP Project Lead stated, “Although Planned Parenthood’s political and PR cronies work overtime to cover-up the revelations of its illicit baby parts trade, Planned Parenthood’s interstate criminal scheme to harvest and sell aborted baby parts continues without any transparency or accountability.”

The new bill will ban the sale and/or donation of fetal remains and increase penalties for improper disposal of fetal remains.

Planned Parenthood has denied the allegation and was cleared by a Texas grand jury of wrongdoing.

Nonetheless, the bill was signed by Gov. Rick Scott. If it becomes law it would defund Planned Parenthood Florida of receiving taxpayer dollars. The abortion group receives about $200,000 in taxpayer Medicaid funds every year, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The money that usually goes to Planned Parenthood will be rerouted to comprehensive health centers.

The bill require clinics that perform first-trimester abortions to have patient transfer agreements or admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Also the bill will increase inspection requirements and licensing fees.

Critics of the bill contend that those provisions are “medically unnecessary.”

“Abortionists will finally be held to the same standard as all other physicians who perform invasive procedures in a non-hospital setting by the requirement to have admitting privileges or a transfer agreement with a nearby hospital,” Ingrid Delgado of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement. “It is incomprehensible that opponents suggest the bill makes women less safe.”

Additionally, the bill changes the definition of a first trimester to the period from fertilization to the 11th week. This definition is different than previously stated because five clinics—including Planned Parenthood—preformed second-trimester abortions with proper licensing. This was an administrative actions enforced by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

Leading pro-life groups stand behind Governor Scott’s decision to sign the bill but abortion activist are considering a potential lawsuit against the new bill.

“We’re evaluating all of our options and will do everything in our power to protect access to care,” said Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates.

Senate sponsor State Senator Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, sponsored the bill and said that it will ensure the quality care for women. If the bill becomes legislation that it could result in the likely closure of six of Florida’s abortion clinics.

“It is not a bill that restricts a woman’s right to choose … It’s getting the same level of care that she would have if she walked into any other clinic,” Stargel said.

An American Civil Liberty Union spokesperson said they would consider suing Florida if the legislation becomes a law. But his depends on the outcome of another Florida law that requires women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion. In February, the 1st District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the pro-life law.

[Photo by Dylan Lovan/Getty Images]

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