Despite the Obama administration’s threat against terminating federal funding of Planned Parenthood, more states are cutting Medicaid funds to the nation’s largest abortion provider following videos that have exposed top medical directors of the organization engaged in the harvesting of body parts of aborted babies for potential sale to biomedical companies.
On Friday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) directed his state Department of Human Services to terminate its Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood, effective 30 days from a letter dated Friday, August 14, 2015, states a press release from the governor’s office.
It is apparent that after the 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. This includes their affiliated organization, Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma.
I appreciate the legislature’s leadership on this important issue, especially that of Senator Eddie Joe Williams and Representative David Meeks.
Additionally, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has ordered his state’s agencies to end sending federal funds to Planned Parenthood.
According to the Idaho State Journal, Herbert said in a statement Friday that he was troubled by the recent investigative videos.
Alabama, Louisiana, and New Hampshire are also in the process of terminating Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood.
As more states move to end their Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood, StemExpress, the biomedical company that has acknowledged working with the organization in obtaining the body parts of aborted babies, has also said it will cut its ties with Planned Parenthood.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Planned Parenthood executive vice president Dawn Laguens, said in a statement:
The federal government has made it clear that states cannot cut women off from high-quality health care at Planned Parenthood like this. It’s unlawful, unpopular, and harmful to women—and that’s why politicians who have tried to do this in other states have failed. Planned Parenthood will continue to fight on behalf of the people who count on us for high-quality healthcare across Arkansas.
In an earlier statement last week on Planned Parenthood’s website, Laguens said, “Extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood’s mission and services are making outrageous and completely false claims. They are engaged in a fraud, and other claims they’ve made have been discredited and disproven.”
Asserting that “the extremists” show “a total lack of compassion and dignity for women’s most personal medical decisions,” Laguens said the Planned Parenthood medical staff, shown in the videos in a lab separating the body parts of aborted babies, were actually engaging in “standard medical practice to review tissue to ensure the health and safety of patients…”
“Planned Parenthood’s medical providers and staff are the best in the country,” she said. “We have the highest professional standards, and we take swift action if we are ever aware of an instance where those standards aren’t being met.”
However, in April of 2013, in the midst of the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell – who was ultimately convicted of murdering infants born alive during abortion procedures – Breitbart News reported that Planned Parenthood Southeast Pennsylvania president and CEO Dayle Steinberg, speaking at a fundraiser, admitted that she knew what was transpiring at Gosnell’s “house of horrors,” but neither she nor her organization reported it to state health officials or others who could have stepped in.
Instead, Steinberg said Planned Parenthood left it up to women, traumatized by the horrors of Gosnell’s clinic, to report him.
“We would always encourage them to report it to the Department of Health,” she said.
With the release of the recent videos produced by Center for Medical Progress, national pro-life groups are calling out those who would continue to defend Planned Parenthood.
“We can now add harvesting baby organs without the consent of the mother to the list of ethical violations and criminal activities committed inside Planned Parenthood clinics,” said Lila Rose, president of Live Action, in a statement sent to Breitbart News. “If this was any other business there would be a rush by media and politicians for full disclosure, defunding and calls to shut down what appears to be a criminal enterprise.”
Following the most recent video in which StemExpress whistleblower Holly O’Donnell reveals details of how her former company, in conjunction with Planned Parenthood, did not obtain consent from women to take their babies’ body parts following abortion, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, told Breitbart News, “This is betrayal in its worst forms. This is where the war on women is taking place.”
Hawkins, whose organization coordinated the #WomenBetrayed movement and rallies at the end of July, added:
For Planned Parenthood, an organization whose only talking point is that they are there for women in their time of need, that they care about women, that they are fighting for women’s health, this particular video is a devastating reminder that behind the façade of Planned Parenthood lies a horrible group that sells women out – and sells the body parts of their babies – for money.