Appeals court ruling allows Utah’s Planned Parenthood to temporarily keep funding

By Dave Andrusko

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert

Late last night the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals put an emergency stop on Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s decision to withhold about $275,000 in federal money from The Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, a decision which had been upheld less than a week ago by U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups.

Planned Parenthood asked the Denver-based appeals court to keep the money coming as it considers Waddoups’ ruling. In his decision, Waddoups wrote, “[T]hese are the types of decisions that should be left to elected officials and not managed by the courts.” Waddoups had previously issued a temporary order allowing the funds to continue throughout the end of the year.

“The governor is confident that once the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has the opportunity to look closely at the legal issues in this case, like Judge [Clark] Waddoups, they will reach the same decision and agree that it is contrary to the public’s best interest to remove the governor’s discretion to make contract decisions on behalf of the state,” Jon Cox, a spokesman for the governor, said in a statement.

According to Annie Knox of the Salt Lake Tribune, “Gov. Gary Herbert said he blocked the money from passing through state hands because he was offended by what he called the callous, casual way Planned Parenthood officials in other states were shown talking about fetal tissue in a series of videos.”

By contrast, Karrie Galloway, CEO of the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, issued a press release in which she said, “We are thrilled with today’s decision, which will allow our trusted health care providers and educators to continue serving the thousands of Utahns who depend on us as the appeals process proceeds.”

Planned Parenthood has successfully sued several other states that had cut off funding to the nation’s largest abortion provider.