On March 28th, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law that would defund Planned Parenthood abortion business and any other clinics that also do abortions. This will eliminate about $200,000 that the abortion business of Planned Parenthood receives from the government.
HB 1411, also known as The Termination of Pregnancy bill, was sponsored by state Rep. Colleen Burton and passed the Florida House 76–40 and the Florida Senate 25–15. Both the Florida House and Senate are Republican-led.
Florida is now the 12th state to block taxpayer dollars from going to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.
The bill will go into effect on July 1st. It prohibits any taxpayer dollars from going to groups that own, operate, or are affiliated with licensed abortion facilities.
As you can imagine, reactions to this legislation are mixed and largely divided based on party lines. Progressives and abortion advocates are shocked, while anti-abortionists are praising the decision.
“This cruel bill is designed to rip health care away from those most at risk,” says Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
“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 and transfer agreement with a nearby hospital,” says Ingrid Delgado of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops.
One of the motivations for the move is the fact that Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services have been rapidly declining, according to their own annual reports. For example, between 2009 and 2014 their cancer screenings and breast exams/breast care fell by 50%. Pap smear tests dropped by nearly 66%.
In Florida there are 29 health care alternatives for each Planned Parenthood location—22 in all that will no longer receive funding from the government. Supporters site this as rationale for defunding Planned Parenthood in the state: there are many alternatives available to women, and Planned Parenthood had been declining in certain key areas as well.
One way or another, it likely won’t be long before Planned Parenthood is coming across our dashboards again!