Federal Court Rules that Utah can Defund Planned Parenthood
Earlier this year, Republican Gov. Garry Herbert ordered the state of Utah to no longer fund the local Planned Parenthood clinic. This was following the release of a series of disturbing videos by the Center for Medical Progress. In this footage, the clinic was exposed for harvesting aborted fetuses and selling the organs of aborted babies.
“The allegations against Planned Parenthood are deeply troubling,” said Herbert. “In light of ongoing concerns about the organization, I have instructed state agencies to cease acting as an intermediary for pass-through federal funds to Planned Parenthood.” Following this decision made in late September of this year, the Utah branch of Planned Parenthood immediately sued stating that the undercover footage was deceptively edited and that the clinic has always acted legally.
The clinic was granted a temporary injunction to still receive funds, but that was officially put to a stop earlier this week. U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups has reversed the order for temporary funding and has ruled that the clinic be stripped of federal funds, until the lawsuit is resolved.
“I appreciate today’s court decision which recognizes my ability to make contract decisions on behalf of the state,” said Herbert. “As I have said, the health of all Utahns remains a priority, and I will continue to work with the Utah Department of Health, local health departments, community health centers, non-profit clinics and others to ensure access to these important services.”
The governor has also assured the public that this is not going to harm women’s health. “If anything, we’ll have additional access points, more access points [and] better access to women’s health,” Herbert told KSL News Radio.
However, this is just the beginning. According to the Planned Parenthood of Utah website, they have just filed a motion (on December 28, 2015) to “prevent the state of Utah from terminating pass-through federal grant funding on December 31, 2015.” If this motion is granted, the funding will continue until the end of the lawsuit.
This legal battle is not just confined to Utah. Other states, such as Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana have also cut off Planned Parenthood from receiving federal money and are pending lawsuits from this clinic.