By Dave Andrusko
And then there were five.
In rapid succession, Utah and Arkansas last week became the fourth and fifth states to defund Planned Parenthood.
On Friday pro-life Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson “moved to cut the state’s funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and ordered the Department of Human Services to sever its Medicaid contract with the abortion provider,” Reuters reported.
Referring to the six undercover videos brought to the public’s attention by the Center for Medical Progress, Gov. Hutchinson said
‘It is apparent that after recent revelations on the actions of Planned Parenthood, that this organization does not represent the values of the people of our state and Arkansas is better served by terminating any and all existing contracts with them.”
Also on Friday Utah Gov. Gary Herbert instructed the Utah Department of Health to “stop distributing federal funds to the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah,” Deseret News reported.
Utah Department of Health spokesperson Tom Hudachko told the newspaper that the department’s contracts allow for the department to terminate the agreement provided there is a 30 day written notice.
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser said he supported the governor’s decision, anticipating that the issue of Planned Parenthood funding would come up in the next legislative session. According to Deseret News reporter Daphne Chen
“I know there would be efforts to prohibit that. The governor is obviously one step ahead of us,” Niederhauser said.
He said other groups should be getting the federal dollars available.
“I wouldn’t support any more money going to Planned Parenthood. I think we ought to be looking at other organizations that are qualified,” Niederhauser said.
Utah and Arkansas will join Alabama, Louisiana, and New Hampshire, as NRL News Today has previously reported.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was the first to announce that his state had “terminate[d] Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid provider agreement.” Referencing those same shocking videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, Gov. Jindal said
“In recent weeks, it has been shocking to see reports of the alleged activities taking place at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life. It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.”
New Hampshire was next. Its Executive Council voted 3-2 to deny contracts to two Planned Parenthood offices in the Granite state.
“A contract for $253,900 with the Planned Parenthood of NNE [Northern New England] in Claremont was denied, as was a contract for $385,000 with the organization’s Manchester office,” according to New Hampshire Union Leader reporter Dave Solomon.
Then Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced the state would cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood. He said
“The deplorable practices at Planned Parenthood have been exposed to Americans, and I have decided to stop any association with the organization in Alabama. As a doctor and Alabama’s governor, the issue of human life, from conception to birth and beyond, is extremely important. I respect human life and do not want Alabama to be associated with an organization that does not.”