Planned Parenthood is unleashing an ad buy worth $100,000 in Florida to counter a pro-life effort to defund the abortion giant in that state after a series of undercover videos showed the abortion business apparently engaged in the practice of selling the body parts of babies it aborted.
“This bill is one of the most expansive attacks on women’s health care we’ve seen to date,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, according to The Hill.
The Florida state senate passed a bill defunding the Planned Parenthood Florida affiliate of taxpayer dollars. Additionally, the bill contains abortion safety requirements, in particular requiring doctors to have hospital admitting privileges or patient transfer agreements to hospitals in the event of complications arising from abortions. The bill would also increase abortion clinic inspection requirements and licensing fees.
The bill would redirect the $200,000 in taxpayer Medicaid funds the Planned Parenthood affiliate receives each year to other health care centers that do not perform abortions.
The legislation mirrors bills that have been passed in other states – such as Texas and Mississippi — but have been challenged in court by Planned Parenthood.
In 2013, the Kermit Gosnell case served as the impetus for Texas’ abortion safety law. Gosnell – who was convicted of murder for severing the spinal cords of babies born alive during abortions – also was found guilty in the death of one of his patients due to an anesthesia overdose. Despite complaints about the abuses occurring in Gosnell’s abortion clinic, both the abortion industry and the state of Pennsylvania failed to intervene in his “house of horrors” for nearly two decades.
State Sen. Kelli Stargel (R) – a sponsor of the Florida bill – said the measure hopes to raise the standard of care in abortion clinics.
“It is not a bill that restricts a woman’s right to choose … It’s getting the same level of care that she would have if she walked into any other clinic,” she said.
State Sen. Aaron Bean (R) also said taxpayer funds contribute to clinic operations even without directly paying for abortions.
“We pay their light bill, we pay their salaries, we pay all kinds of things when the state contracts with these clinics,” he said. “Let’s get Florida out of the abortion business.”
Stargel emphasized that individuals who received contraception and STD testing at Planned Parenthood would be able to receive services at other facilities.
Opponents of the measure said it would result in more self-induced abortions.
“It is not about protecting life,” state Sen. Arthenia Joyner (D) said. “What it is, is the latest attack on a woman’s right, a woman’s freedom to control her own destiny and make up her mind about her own body without government officials telling her what to do.”
The bill was sent to Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) desk, and he must veto it by March 26 or it will automatically become law.
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) March 17, 2016
The undercover video series produced by the Center for Medical Progress is the most recent exposé of Planned Parenthood’s apparent practices.
Though Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing in its sale of body parts, the abortion business also released a statement in October announcing it will no longer accept payments for aborted fetal tissue. The organization and its leftwing media supporters continue to insist the videos, produced by CMP, were “deceptively edited.”
However, a Democrat opposition research firm named Fusion – hired by Planned Parenthood to review the videos – said while their analysts observed the videos had been edited, “the analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.”
Additionally, Fusion noted, “[A]nalysts found no evidence that CMP inserted dialogue not spoken by Planned Parenthood staff.”
An analysis by Coalfire, a third-party forensics company hired by Alliance Defending Freedom, found that the videos were “not manipulated” and that they are “authentic.”
Under suspicion of bias, Harris County, Texas District Attorney Devon Anderson convened a grand jury that cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing in the video exposé and, instead, indicted Center for Medical Progress project lead David Daleiden and his colleague Sandra Merrit. Two pro-choice law professors wrote the indictment of Daleiden and Merrit amounted to “a stunning act of legal jujitsu” and was a “deeply disturbing” outcome both for the First Amendment and undercover citizen journalists attempting to expose corruption.
A recent Marist College Institute for Public Opinion poll found a full 81 percent of Americans favor some restrictions on abortion — including limiting the procedure after the first three months — and a continued ban on public funding of abortion.
In the survey of 1,700 Americans, even 66 percent of respondents who identify themselves as pro-choice say, “Abortion should be allowed, at most, in the first trimester, in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, or never permitted.”