In the wake of the U.S. Congress’ inaction on defunding Planned Parenthood prior to the congressional summer recess, states continue to take matters into their own hands in cutting financial assistance to the abortion giant. On Thursday, Alabama became the third U.S. state in a week to withdraw funding from local branches of Planned Parenthood.
Thousands of Americans have participated in rallies across the nation to urge their state and federal lawmakers to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood in the aftermath of the release of a series of recent gruesome videos showing the abortion provider’s practice of harvesting the body parts of aborted babies for sale to biomedical companies.
Alabama governor Robert Bentley wrote to the head of Planned Parenthood Southeast on August 6, informing her that his state’s Medicaid agency is terminating is existing agreements with the Planned Parenthood affiliate.
A statement from the governor said that the “deplorable practices at Planned Parenthood have been exposed to Americans, and I have decided to stop any association with the organization in Alabama,” an expression he extended to his followers on Twitter.
The deplorable practices at Planned Parenthood have been exposed to Americans. I’ve terminated any association with the organization in AL.
— Gov. Robert Bentley (@GovernorBentley) August 6, 2015
“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,” he said.
Casey Mattox, a senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, lauded Bentley’s decision: “Not one more penny should go to Planned Parenthood, a billion-dollar abortion dealer caught on camera negotiating the sale of hearts, lungs, and livers from aborted babies. Governor Bentley should therefore be commended for ending the use of state taxpayer dollars for such barbarism.”
“Our tax dollars instead should fund local public health clinics, which outnumber Planned Parenthood locations more than 10 to 1 and are not tainted by constant scandals and misdeeds. America doesn’t need Planned Parenthood,” Mattox said.
The other two states to defund Planned Parenthood this past week were New Hampshire and Louisiana.
On August 5, New Hampshire’s Republican-controlled Executive Council voted 3-2 to deny the state’s contract with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, against the objections of Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. The decision will remove $639,000 in state funding from the organization.
The Democratic governor has refused to launch investigations into Planned Parenthood’s activities in New Hampshire, saying that such inquiries should not be conducted “on rumor.”
Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, a Republican, voted to deny Planned Parenthood’s contract, even though he supports legal abortion. Sununu said that “for some reason the Democrats seem to be going out of their way to find an excuse to keep Planned Parenthood around, and on the line and on contract. There are lots of other providers of these services out there. All I’m saying is, let’s go contract with them and use these other health care providers to make sure we are giving adequate choice to these women.”
On August 3, Louisiana’s health department under Governor Bobby Jindal ended its Medicaid provider contract with Planned Parenthood. Jindal stated that “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.”
Jindal has also opened an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s activities in Louisiana and sent a letter to both the Louisiana Inspector General and the F.B.I. asking them to assist in the investigation.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome