FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 25, 2016
Florida Becomes the 12th State To De-fund Planned Parenthood
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Today, Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 1411 into law, which significantly cuts taxpayer funding to all abortion clinics in the state of Florida, including Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America. Florida is now the 12th state to defund Planned Parenthood from accessing state taxpayer dollars after Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.
All of these states have restricted Planned Parenthood from receiving state taxpayer funds since the historic work of David Daleiden who exposed Planned Parenthood this past summer with an extensive undercover sting operation showing the organization negotiating the sale of babies’ body parts, and engaging in other fraud, waste and illegal activity.
The funds currently being sent to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in Florida for legitimate woman’s health care, will now be available to hundreds of low-cost federally qualified community health clinics in the state that can provide a more comprehensive and geographically accessible range of women’s health services.
Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC) has been conducting a sustained campaign since October 2015 urging Governor Scott to use his appropriate executive authority to terminate all state contracts with the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. In spite of receiving tens of thousands of communications from Florida voters, the governor has refused to do so, until now providing a variety of excuses, mainly claiming that he could not take action due to federal law. The FFPC publicly refuted his arguments and excuses, insisting the Governor had the legal authority and moral duty to terminate contracts with Planned Parenthood, just as other governors around the country had done.
Since the time the legislature passed the bill HB 1411, Planned Parenthood has run a major ad campaign trying to block the bill’s final approval. Part of this effort involved deliberate misrepresentations that the bill required “dentists” to provide women’s health care. Articles making this false argument appeared nationally on MSNBC and even in the British Newspaper the Guardian. FFPC set the record straight with a letter sent to Governor Scott regarding the facts of the hundreds of other health care providers that can perform the women’s health services instead of abortion providers.
FFPC President John Stemberger issued the following statement regarding the Governor’s signature of HB 1411:
“This is a historic victory and we are thrilled to have been an active part of this effort. We are so grateful to the Republican leadership in the Florida House and Florida Senate for making this happen. They collectively did what the Governor failed to do, namely, provided leadership on this critical issue and made it happen. We are nonetheless pleased that Governor Scott did follow the Florida Legislature’s lead in this matter and signed this important bill into law. The real heroes in this victory are Senator Kelli Stargel (R) and Representative Colleen Burton (R) both of Lakeland. These women are to be commended for their courage and conviction, leading on this issue which voters have been concerned about for decades. Finally, we applaud Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) for their legal expertise and research without which this victory may not have taken place.”
Specifically, the newly signed law:
-Prohibits Florida governmental institutions and managed care providers from entering into new Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers that provide elective abortions.
-Cuts Title X family planning service contracts with Planned Parenthood in Broward and Collier Counties.
The bill also has a number of provisions to help ensure the safety of women seeking abortions including, increased inspections of abortion clinics; mandated reporting of abortion statistics to the CDC; improved abortion clinic regulations bringing them into conformity with other ambulatory surgical centers; and prohibited actions regarding fetal remains. The law will go into effect July 1, 2016.
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CONTACT : Nandi Randolph
Florida Family Policy Council